February 3, 2020
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Bug Blocker Doors & Screens

President Trump has signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a trade deal meant to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Canada and Mexico already represent the top two export markets for Midwestern food manufacturers. The agreement guarantees U.S. farmers greater access to Canada’s agriculture market and provides more certainty for manufacturers.

The leaders of the three nations signed the new pact in late 2018. Both the Senate and House passed the USMCA by wide margins with bipartisan support after several months of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Democratic lawmakers and the Trump administration.

While Mexico has already approved the USMCA, Canada’s parliament still must ratify the agreement, a process which may extend into April.

MWFPA has supported the agreement and its president, Jason Culotta, made the following statement relative to the agreement:

“Our members thank President Trump for his action on the USMCA. Trade is vital to the Midwest economy and food manufacturers across the region have long benefited from trade with Canada and Mexico – which totaled more than $3.6 billion in 2018.
 
The trade pact will positively impact both the U.S. agriculture and food manufacturing sectors as well as the broader national economy.”
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Alliant Energy
EPA
EPA Adds 160 PFAS To Toxics Release Inventory

US businesses that emit any of 160 types of PFAS to air, water, or land will have to report those releases to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency unveiled on Jan. 16 the  list of PFAS substances  that it added to the Toxics Release Inventory as required by   a military spending law (Public Law 116-92) enacted in December .

Companies will have to report their releases of the listed PFAS for calendar year 2020, the EPA says. The agency will then make the information available to the public.

Read more .
Sanders Introduces PFAS Food Contact Bill

US senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has introduced a bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to deem all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) as unsafe for use in food contact materials. 

The Prevent Future American Sickness Act of 2020 ( S 3227) would also look to regulate the substance class's use in firefighting foams and direct the EPA to designate them as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund), among other provisions. 

If passed, the bill would take effect 1 January 2022.
New Navigable Waters Protection Rule Clarifies Jurisdictional Waters Under Federal Control

The Trump administration has released its new final rule under the Clean Water Act (CWA) clarifying the limits of federal jurisdiction over waters and wetlands that are connected to “traditional navigable waters and the territorial seas.” 

The new rule, called the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule,” replaces the Obama administration’s 2015 definition of “waters of the United States,” which was repealed last year.

Read more about this rule from MWFPA Associate Member Michael Best.
USDA Proposes Less Restrictive Lunch Regulations

Less restrictive nutritional standards for school meals are being proposed by the USDA to save money and reduce waste.

The proposed changes would give schools more leeway in determining what fruits and vegetables are acceptable in the makeup of school breakfasts and lunches.

They would allow schools to cut the amount of fruit served at breakfast from a full cup to a half, with the difference in calories made up by meats or carbs like bread or pastry.

MWFPA continues to support federal legislation and regulations that promote equal treatment of fresh and processed vegetables in government food programs.
PFAS Food Packaging Bill Circulated In WI Legislature, Far Reaching PFAS Pollution Bill Introduced
A measure currently being circulated for cosposnorship by Rep. Staush Gruszynski (D-Green Bay) in the WI Legislature would require the WI Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to determine whether safer alternatives exists for PFAS in food packaging and if so, mandate their use.

According to a summary of the measure, if the DNR determines at any time that safer alternatives exist, no one may manufacture, sell, or distribute that type of food packaging if it contains PFAS beginning two years after the determination is made and announced. Violation of the bill’s prohibitions could result in a fine of between $10 and $5,000 for each violation.

Another measure, sponsored by state Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and state Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), would provide far reaching regulation of PFAS in water and air. The new bill would allocate $7.7 million over a biennium toward efforts to slow contamination and clean up polluted areas.

It would provide $5 million to create new grants for municipalities to address PFAS contamination when the polluting party is unknown, can’t be found or can’t pay for remediation. The money could also be used to investigate potential PFAS pollution or discharges. The DNR would be required to put emergency rules in place establishing PFAS limits for groundwater and set out surface water, drinking water and air emission standards.

These bill come a little more than a week after the Legislature passed a bill ( SB 310) restricting the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS. That measure is on Evers' desk. It is unclear whether he will sign this legislation into law, as Democratic members of the Senate voted against it in committee based on their belief that the bill does not contain enough PFAS regulation.

MWFPA is reviewing these proposal as to their likely impact on food manufacturing as it continues to emphasize the need for sound, science-based PFAS regulation.

The WI Natural Resources Board voted 5-1 to authorize the WI Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to begin rulemaking to establish state environmental standards for PFOA and PFOS, two PFAS compounds used in firefighting foam.

The rulemaking will revise three separate state standards: for safe drinking water, to reduce PFAS substances in drinking water supplies; for groundwater quality, to reduce PFAS contamination in groundwater; and for surface water quality, by establishing discharge limitations for designated PFAS substances. Read more.

MWFPA President Jason Culotta recently testified in favor of WI SB 708, a measure to encourage public input on proposed regulations of substances with potential public health impact to groundwater.

When the WI Department of Natural Resources (DNR) determines a new chemical or agricultural pesticide needs review and standards, they send a request to the WI Department of Health Services (DHS). DHS then completes a review to determine at what levels it is safe to use the product.

Interested parties, however, are not given an opportunity for input into the proposed regulation of these substances, leaving those regulated to guess how a particular standard was arrived at by the agencies. SB 708 would provide the public an opportunity to comment on proposed groundwater enforcement standards initially brought forward by DNR as well as when proposed standards are offered by DHS.

Read MWFPA's testimony here.
WI Gov Lays Out Agenda In State Of State Speech

WI Governor Tony Evers delivered his second State of the State address to the legislature recently and laid out his policy agenda and goals for 2020.

Evers said a goal for this year is to promote rural and agricultural prosperity. The Governor mentioned a plan to expand the UW Farm Center and programs, create more access to mental health services for farmers, and to develop the Wisconsin Office of Rural Prosperity, which would help people navigate all state programs and resources offered for rural communities. He called for a special session of the legislature next week to take up farming legislation.

The Governor sounded the call to get PFAS and a host of other health issues, “out of our water.” He also gave a shout out to the the food manufacturing industry when he stated: " Our agricultural diversity is one of the strengths of our state. We’re one of the leading growers and processors of vegetables, from potatoes to green peas and snap beans to carrots, and we produce 62 percent of the nation’s cranberry crop ."

Read more.
Evers Calls WI Special Session On Farm Bills

WI Gov. Tony Evers has called the Republican-controlled Legislature into a special session to take up an $8.5 million package of bills designed to help rural Wisconsin.

Evers is encouraging legislators to pass a package of legislation that would create a Wisconsin Initiative for Dairy Exports; improve mental health support in rural communities; and bolster the ability of Wisconsin farmers to connect to local communities, including universities and hospitals.

Among the proposals is the creation of several new grant programs, including one for dairy processing plantsproducer education programs and a Small Farm Diversity grant. That program would award up to $50,000 each year to farmers looking to add a new agricultural product to their farm or pay off existing equipment debt for a new product. The grant could also be used to fund start-up costs for new farms.

Another proposal would create a regional program to help farmers access mental health resources.
The legislation would also create five positions at the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to coordinate local and regional peer support programming and provide confidential, one-on-one counseling to farmers.

Evers has also signed an executive order to create a Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity. The governor said the group would work to help promote agriculture and economic prosperity in rural communities.
IL's Pritzker Calls For Ethics Reform,
Lays Out Broad Policy Goals In State Of State Address

Gov. JB Pritzker delivered the State of the State address emphasizing a need for ethics reform in the wake of an ongoing federal investigation which resulted in a guilty plea on bribery and tax fraud charges from former Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval.

The governor laid out broad policy goals in the speech urging clean energy reforms and a focus on education, job training, infrastructure and what he calls a “fairer” tax system. He was likely referring to the graduated income tax constitutional amendment that voters will vote on in the November election.

Moving the state away from a flat tax, to a graduated tax system, has been a cornerstone to the Governor's agenda since taking office. Business and manufacturing groups have opposed the graduate income tax, also known as a "job tax," as it would move Illinois to the third highest corporate tax rate in the country.

Pritzker pointed to job growth and a declining number of opioid-related overdose deaths as indicators of success in the state. He also praised measures legalizing marijuana, raising the age to buy tobacco products to 21, and expanding the number of new Illinois State Troopers.

Read the full text of the Governor's speech here.
Don Harmon Elected New IL State Senate President

In a closed door meeting, Illinois state senators voted to elect Sen. Don Harmon (L), Illinois State Senate Assistant Majority Leader, as the chamber’s new president - its first new leader in more than a decade.

Harmon’s primary opposition in the race to become the new Senate leader was Sen. Kimberly Lightford, the current Senate majority leader.

Sen. John Cullerton surprised legislators in November when he announced his plans to retire midterm after 11 years as president.  See more from NBC Chicago. MWFPA congratulates Sen. Harmon on his new position and looks forward t working with him in the future.
MN House, Senate Leaders Set 2020 Legislative Committee Deadlines

MN House and Senate leaders have agreed on the following dates for getting bills through the committee process during the 2020 session:

  • Friday, March 13 — Committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin.
  • Friday, March 20 — Committees must act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other body.
  • Friday, April 3 — Committees must act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills.

The deadlines do not apply to the House Capital Investment Division; the House Taxes, Ways and Means, or Rules and Legislative Administration committees; nor the Senate Capital Investment, Finance, Taxes or Rules and Administration committees.

The final deadline comes a day before annual Easter/Passover break that is scheduled to begin Saturday, April 4, and go through Monday, April 13.

The 2020 session is scheduled to begin Feb. 11. The Legislature must complete its work by May 18.

Published each fall, MWFPA's annual report summarizes the previous year's accomplishments and provides an overview of our financial status. It describes the work MWFPA has carried out over the preceding year and outlines some of the association's most significant achievements, challenges and programs.

MWFPA's 2019 Annual Report is now available for download. Find out more about the many ways in which the association is working to improve public policy in the Midwest for its members and assist the food manufacturing industry to grow and prosper. Click here.
The MWFPA sanitation seminar addresses basic sanitation as well as cutting edge issues related to food sanitation and food safety.

Mark you calendar now and prepare to join us for this informative day-long instruction.

Watch this newsletter, our social media and our website for further details.
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Mark Your Calendar: MWFPA Events You Won't Want To Miss
February 12, 2020: MWFPA Raw Products Committee meeting. MWFPA offices, 4600 American Pkwy., Suite 210, 10 a.m. - Noon.

March 18, 2020: MWFPA Accident Investigation Seminar, Wilderness Resort, 511 E Adams St, Wisconsin Dells, WI, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: $95 per person.

May 27-28, 2020: MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble, Trappers Turn Golf Club, 2955 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI

December 1-3, 2020:   MWFPA 116th Annual Convention and 93rd Processing Crops Conference . Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Other Educational Opportunities
February 8, 2020 : Industrial refrigeration systems: strategies to improve energy efficiency , WPPI Energy, Sun Prairie, WI. Learn how to run your industrial refrigerated systems better with simple changes to reduce energy consumption while meeting refrigeration load. This half-day workshop is geared for customers with custom refrigerated systems including cold storage and refrigerated warehouses. This training has been approved for 4 PDH and AFE credits. Register here . MWFPA members are invited to a $20 discount to attend. The training includes a light breakfast and continuing education credits. Please use the promo code WPPI20 to be eligible for the discount.

February 20-21, 2020 : Canning Industry Water Treatment Seminar, Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells
1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information and registration, click here.

March 4 - 6, 2020 : Introduction to Ammonia Refrigeration Systems , Pyle Center , 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI. Anhydrous ammonia is a "natural refrigerant" that does not harm the ozone layer, has no global warming potential, and is popular because of its environmental friendliness and unmatched thermodynamic properties. This course will help you understand the benefits of ammonia through an exploration and comparison of other refrigerants, thermodynamics, refrigeration cycles, and related equipment. For more information, click here .

April 28-30, 2020: FDA/USDA Better Process Control School. Pyle Center , 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to support food and beverage manufacturers in the upper Midwest and across the nation by offering the FDA/USDA Better Process Control School. The Better Process Control School provides the food and beverage industry with qualified personnel in accordance with FDA and USDA regulations. All thermally processed low-acid or acidified foods which are packaged in hermetically-sealed containers must have certain critical operations supervised by a qualified person. Better Process Control School trains individuals to supervise these critical operations.
 
Arrangements have been made for content experts to support the industry via in-person, interactive lectures.
 
To facilitate travel, the training will be completed in 3 days. A full program schedule is here: https://foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/BPCS_2020.pdf
 
A link to online registration and more information is here: https://foodsafety.wisc.edu/
Brian Elliott | Midwest Food Products Association | Ph: (608) 255-9946 | Fax: (608) 255-9838
Web: www.mwfpa.org