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Food Prep

Lawmaker calls for a rebellion against EPA pollution emissions for backyard barbecues

A Missouri state legislator wants the Environmental Protection Agency to back off of people’s backyard barbecues.

On Monday, State Senator Eric Schmitt (R) from St. Louis kicked off a #porksteakrebellion after he discovered the EPA is funding a study on propane grill emissions that suggest pit masters use a special tray to catch grease drippings and a "catalytic" filtration system to reduce air pollution, reports Fox News KTVI.

“The idea that the EPA wants to find their way into our back yards, where we’re congregating with our neighbors, having a good time, on the 4th of July, barbecuing pork steak or hamburgers, is ridiculous and it’s emblematic of agency that’s sort of out of control,” Schmitt said.

The EPA is funding a $15,000 University of California-Riverside study to look at the particulate emissions you breathe when grilling over an open flame.  Along with the drip tray, the emission removal system includes the use of a “secondary air filtration system is composed of a single pipe duct system which contains a specialized metal filter, a metal fan blade, a drive shaft, and an accompanying power system with either a motorized or manual method,” according to study. 

Those opposed to the study met Monday night at St. Louis’ LeGrand’s Market & Catering sandwiches shop after Schmitt launched the rebellion via Twitter.   

“Personally, I think being able to barbecue in your back yard extends your life,” customer Pat Schommer told Fox. “It’s part of pleasure – backyard barbecuing and I love it.”

The EPA said that it doesn’t regulate people’s backyard barbecues and that the grant is part of the EPA's "National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014)", which is a student-designed competition for sustainability.

Schmitt called on people to grill in their backyards this week as a sort of “peaceful protest”.