EPA proposes rule to exempt farms from emissions reporting
On Oct. 30 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a proposed rule to amend the emergency release notification regulations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) to make clear that reporting of air emission from animal waste at farms is not required under EPCRA.
The rule drew praise from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Producers Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
This proposed rule, if finalized, will provide livestock producers with greater regulatory certainty. It will also allow emergency response officials to focus on readiness and emergencies, not animal waste.
The proposed rule is under the authority of the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act, passed as a part of the federal omnibus spending bill in March. The FARM Act exempts reporting of air emissions from animal waste at a farm.
In May 2017, the D.C. Circuit court vacated EPA’s 2008 regulatory exemption for livestock reporting under EPCRA. Following that court action, the Trump EPA issued guidance stating reporting still does not need to occur from livestock producers based on EPA’s interpretation of EPCRA.
The EPA’s proposed rule requests comment on the agency’s interpretation that these types of releases are not subject to EPCRA reporting. If finalized, this proposal would maintain consistency between the emergency release notification requirements of EPCRA and CERCLA in accordance with the statutory text and framework of EPCRA.
To read the proposed rule visit https://gfb.ag/epcraeparule.