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NMPF Cheers EPA Efforts to Exempt Manure Air Emission Reporting Under EPCRA

July 30, 2019

NMPF celebrated a successful milestone in a more than two-year effort on June 5 when the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that codified its earlier interpretation that air emissions from manure are not reportable under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 was created to help communities plan for chemical emergencies and requires industry to report on the storage, use and release of hazardous substances to federal, state, and local governments. The extent to which agricultural operations needed to be included has been controversial, with the EPA moving toward fewer burdensome requirements for farmers.

NMPF had been engaged with the effort to codify the manure exemption since April 2017, filing comments as recently as last December supporting EPA’s efforts last fall to modify its regulations to eliminate the reporting of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide air emissions from manure.

EPA’s final actions with EPCRA is consistent with Congress’ recent action to exempt manure emissions reporting requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). NMPF supported that approach and noted that EPCRA’s legislative history showed that Congress did not intend for continuous air emissions reports to be filed under EPCRA if they were not required under CERCLA.

Amended Text of Rule:
The amended text states “air emissions from animal waste (including decomposing animal waste) at a farm” are exempt.
Animal waste was formally defined to mean feces, urine or other excrement, digestive emission, urea, or similar substances emitted by animals (including any form of livestock, poultry, or fish). This term includes animal waste that is mixed or commingled with bedding, compost, feed, soil, or any other material typically found with such waste.

Contact: Clay Detlefsen