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Legal with Leah: Federal Air Emissions Reporting

UPDATE: The application of reporting rules for livestock farmers were slated to go into effect yesterday, Nov. 15. As of 10 a.m. today, Nov. 16, there has been no issuance of a mandate or an extension. U.S. EPA updated its CERCLA reporting website to state that “[f]arms with continuous releases do not have to submit their initial continuous release notification until the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issues its order, or mandate, enforcing the Court’s opinion of April 11, 2017.”  We suggest that producers be cautioned to hold off in filing CERCLA continuous release reports with the National Response Center until the Court either issues the official mandate or grants a delay. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. Updates are also available on the EPA’s website.

Since 2008, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule has exempted all livestock farms from reporting hazardous substance air releases from animal waste under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and also declared only large CAFOs were subject to Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) reporting. Because of a recent court ruling, that could soon change. A number of citizen groups challenged the validity of that rule in court  and in April the court struck down the final rule, eliminating the reporting exemptions for farms.

EPA sought additional time from the court to help farmers understand their reporting obligations, but unless the court takes further action, the reporting requirements go into effect next week, on Nov. 15. What does that mean for Ohio livestock farmers? Farm Bureau Policy Counsel and Sr. Director of Member Engagement Leah Curtis covers all the details.
For more information and assistance in determining whether you need to report, visit the EPA’s guidance website covering air emissions reporting for livestock farms. The website provides background information on the reporting requirement and tools to help you determine if you may have a reportable release based on the size and type of your operation.

Listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Policy Counsel Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting landowners.

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Amanda Domsitz 

Amanda Domsitz is a communications specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau.