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Legal with Leah: Federal Air Emissions Reporting

UPDATE: On March 23, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018 (Omnibus Bill). Title XI of the legislation called the “Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act” or “FARM Act” exempts the reporting of air emissions from animal waste at a farm under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

The order to require reporting under CERCLA/EPCRA for livestock and poultry producers was delayed (or stayed) by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit several times before the budget bill was passed. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to update rules for Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act reporting, which should eliminate reporting requirements for most farms who only have emissions as a result of routine agricultural practices.

“With the passage of the spending bill, Congress has clarified that CERCLA reporting was never intended to apply to the routine agricultural activities that occur on farms,” said Leah Curtis, OFBF policy counsel.

Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website for more details about the legislation and EPCRA rulemaking.

ORIGINAL POST NOVEMBER 2017:

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 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.