Three hog barns reflected on a manure lagoon in the foreground National Pork Board

Court grants delay in livestock emissions reporting again

Livestock emission reporting deadline is now May 1.

Source: National Pork Producer Council

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Thursday granted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s motion for another extension of farm emissions reporting deadline. NPPC and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association Monday filed a brief in support of the agency’s request that the court gives farms a delay in reporting air emissions from animal waste to May 1 from Jan. 22. 

Livestock and poultry farms that meet certain thresholds were required to start reporting certain air emissions beginning Jan. 22, prior to the request for another delay. It is estimated that approximately 60,000-100,000 livestock and poultry operations will be subject to the reporting requirement. The reporting level would be reached by a facility with approximately 330 head (for a confinement facility), according to a calculator used by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that is based on emissions produced by the commingling of solid manure and urine.

EPA’s request came after a letter was sent by 10 Democrat senators to the agency stressing the need to provide farmers more time to sufficiently acquaint themselves with the new reporting requirements. In April 2017, the appeals court rejected an exemption for farms from reporting “hazardous” emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). CERCLA is a law that provides federal funding for cleaning contaminant spills and uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites, while EPCRA requires entities to provide reports on the storage, use and release of hazardous substances to state and local governments, including first responders. Prior to the April decision, all farms were exempt from reporting emissions under CERCLA, and only concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) were required to report under EPCRA. NPPC, along with other organizations, has been urging the EPA to issue clarifying guidance to farmers for complying with the new reporting mandate.

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