Thursday, July 12, 2012

Environmental Law Research Reports: Subsidies with Responsibilities

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) just published a new Research Report titled, Subsidies with Responsibilities: Placing Stewardship and Disclosure Conditions on Government Payments to Large-Scale Commodity Crop Operations.  This report is currently downloadable for free from the Institute.
This Environmental Law Institute report recommends that large-scale commodity crop operations that opt to receive any form of federal farm subsidy, including subsidized crop insurance, be assigned responsibility for: putting in place basic measures to reduce water pollution from fertilizer runoff; and disclosing information to the public about the quantity, type, and timing of fertilizers they apply. Runoff from the production of major commodity crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat can contribute significantly to downstream water pollution. Many farming operations already implement stewardship measures, yet nutrient pollution remains a significant national problem. 
For the uninitiated, ELI Research Reports contain "the analysis and conclusions of the policy studies the [ELI] undertakes to improve environmental law." Most of the older reports on this site are available for free (pdf format) from the organization with the proviso that the User provide their email address; other reports are available for purchase for a nominal fee.  A database of reports is available at  Users can search by title, author, or keyword or in the alternative, they can chose from a subject specifc list including:

  • Africa Program
  • Air
  • Biodiversity and Invasive Species
  • Climate Change
  • Community Environmental Health and Education
  • Conservation
  • Contaminated Sites/Brownfields
  • Educational Programs and Materials
  • Energy and Innovation
  • Enforcement and Compliance
  • Environmental Consequences of War
  • Environmental Information
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Management and Governance
  • Federal and State Relations
  • India Program
  • Indoor Environments and Green Building
  • Inter-American Program
  • International
  • International (all available publications)
  • International Governance
  • Mining
  • Nanotechnology
  • NEPA
  • Oceans
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Public Participation
  • Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Use of Land
  • Water Management and Governance
  • Water Pollution Prevention
  • Wetlands

    Unknown said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Unknown said...

    The recommendation of the Environmental Law Institute, which obliges large-scale commodity crop operations that receive any form of federal farm subsidy and insurance to be responsible in applying measures to reduce water pollution, is fair and reasonable. Since these crop operators receive incentives from the government, they should recompense this privilege by doing a favor to the government. They should disclose the quantity, type and timing of the fertilizers. They should assure the public that they will not abuse the privilege of subsidy by not using fertilizers that can harm the soil and the environment.

    Monica Barnes