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NMPF Supports EPA Efforts to Codify Manure Air Emission Exemption

January 25, 2019

In comments filed Dec. 14, NMPF expressed support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to permanently end the reporting of manure air emissions under the Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

NMPF had been disappointed with the April 11, 2017, decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s elimination of the rule, which limited the scope of reporting air emissions from manure. Both EPRCA and the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA) statutes were designed to assist government agencies in identifying releases of hazardous substances and facilitate remedial action.

NMPF has argued that requiring farmers to report air emissions from manure under either law impedes responses to actual emergency releases by creating paperwork backlogs and using resources that should be utilized for such emergencies. The emergency response community is opposed to receiving manure air emission reports under EPCRA. The U.S. Coast Guard, which receives hazardous release reports under CERCLA, is also opposed to receiving such reports.

NMPF and other agriculture groups worked in 2017 and 2018 to inform Congress of the ramifications of the court’s ruling. Congress passed the bipartisan FARM Act, which ended air emission reporting under CERCLA, while EPA issued an interpretation that reporting was unnecessary under EPCRA. In addition, a 1986 report on EPCRA made it clear that air emission reporting of these releases was unwarranted and contrary to what Congress intended.