Livestock farmers who have been waiting for a new air emissions requirement can breathe a little easier for at least a few more months.
Since 2008, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule has exempted all livestock farms from reporting hazardous substance air releases from animal waste (namely, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and also declared only large CAFOs were subject to Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act reporting.
A number of citizen groups challenged the validity of that rule in court and last spring the court struck down the final rule, eliminating the reporting exemptions for farms.
The EPA sought additional time from the Washington, D.C. circuit court to help farmers understand their reporting obligations. Throughout the past six months several orders have been issued delaying the start of the mandate.
In February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit issued an order again delaying the official mandate of its April 2017 ruling. The CERCLA/EPCRA reporting requirements for livestock and poultry producers are postponed until May 1.
For more information and assistance in determining whether reporting is needed, 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 members determine if they may have a reportable release based on the size and type of the livestock operation.