The Montana Farm Bureau is applauding the U.S. Senate and House for introducing two bills that clarify air emissions from animal waste on the farm are not applicable under the CERCLA act. Senate Bill S. 2421, the FARM Act and HR 5275, the corresponding House Bill, known as the ACRE Act, both state that farmers do not need to report their emissions. In other good news, the FARM Act has been included in the Omnibus bill, an action supported by Farm Bureau. 

“Montana Farm Bureau wants to thank Senator Steve Daines and Senator Jon Tester for co-sponsoring the FARM Act and Representative Greg Gianforte for signing on as a cosponsor to the ACRE Act,” noted MFBF National Affairs Director Nicole Rolf. “Montana’s Congressmen realize how important it is to fix a problematic regulation that was never intended to apply to agriculture. We’re thankful that our elected officials realized legislation was needed and were willing to step up and protect Montana’s ranchers.”

Under current regulations, approximately 200,000 farms and ranches could be legally obliged to report emissions from animal agricultural operations, even though those rules were written to cover industrial emergencies, rather than routine, low-level emissions from farms and ranches.

The FARM Act exempts agricultural producers from reporting low-concentration manure odors to the federal government. This legislation is urgently needed due to a recent court decision that eliminated an agricultural exemption in place for ten years. The bill is narrowly tailored to exempt agricultural reporting under the Comprehensive Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for air emissions due to the natural breakdown of manure at a farm.

The bipartisan H.R. 5275, Agricultural Certainty for Reporting Emissions Act, will prevent unnecessary environmental reporting, which has been opposed by Republican and Democratic administrations alike.