The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially released new guidance relating to the air emissions reporting requirements for animal waste at livestock operations. In the EPA guidance, the Agency interprets the Fair Agricultural Reporting Methods (FARM) Act to exempt livestock operations from reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
“This is certainly good to see this win for farmers and ranchers recognized by the EPA,” said MFBF Executive Vice President John Youngberg. “Many of our members spoke out when it appeared that air emissions from the natural breakdown of animal waste from farms was going to meet with the same reporting requirement as Superfund Hazardous Waste Sites.”
The 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill included a permanent fix for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) reporting requirements for farmers and ranchers. That bill, H.R. 1625 included language from S. 2421, the FARM Act which amended Section 103 of CERCLA to clarify that air emissions from animal waste at a farm are not applicable under the Act and thus farmers do not need to report emissions. In addition, the animal waste air emission does not need to be reported under EPCRA.
“CERLCA was meant for hazardous waste, not for someone running more than 200 head of cattle on their ranch,” noted Youngberg. “We’d again like to thank Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte who pushed for legislation to prevent untenable reporting.”