The Montana Farm Bureau has voiced strong support for the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act, S. 2421. The state’s largest agricultural organization is urging its members and other livestock owners, to contact Senator Jon Tester and Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Gianforte for a ‘yea’ on a bill that provides common sense legislation that 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 FARM ACT, along with corresponding House Resolution (HR 5275), will fix this problem by making it clear that air emissions from animal waste at a farm are not applicable under this act and thus farmers do not need to report their emissions. 

“We’re pleased that Senator Daines is already co-sponsor of this important bill and hope to see Senator Tester and Congressman Gianforte follow suit,” noted MFBF Executive Vice President John Youngberg.  

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. Some say that any ranch with 200 cows or more will be required to report. 

In addition, Montana Farm Bureau has signed a letter, along with many other agricultural organizations showing their approval of this bill. This bill, proposed by Senators Fischer (R-NE) and Donnelly (D-IN) was introduced February 13, 2018 with the support of 10 Republican and 10 Democratic Senators. 

“Possibly the most ludicrous of this all is that the federal government will be required to collect the emissions data and act on any complaints, even if simply from someone’s neighbor or an activist group,” noted Youngberg. 

People can submit comments directly through AFBF’s website/Action Alert.