EPA Requests Stay of Mandate to End Manure Air Emissions Rule Exemption

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals on July 17 to halt issuance of a mandate to eliminate the manure air emission exemption for six months from the date of a stay order or until Jan. 17, 2018, whichever is later. In the meantime, NMPF continues to engage with senior EPA staff and members of Congress to find a long-term solution.

EPA stated that a stay is needed in order to give the agency time to develop guidance for farms on how to measure emissions of hazardous substances from animal waste in order to report releases of the substances exceeding threshold levels in compliance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). 

EPA noted that 63,000 small- and medium-sized farms that were previously exempt from the reporting requirements must come into compliance. EPA also conveyed to the appeals court that they intend to explore possible regulatory or other administrative approaches to address reporting obligations. A favorable ruling on EPA’s motion will cut off any potential litigation and give NMPF time to collaborate with EPA and animal agriculture industry partners to find a long-term solution.