NMPF Against Emissions Reporting for Manure under EPCRA

NMPF filed its own comments Feb. 13 and joined with other agriculture groups in coalition comments to EPA’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking weighing in on the reporting of air emissions from manure under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

Both sets of comments assert that Congress, the emergency response community, animal agriculture groups and the Coast Guard think that reporting air emissions from manure under a statute designed to address serious, life-threatening chemical spills is ill-advised and unnecessary. NMPF also said reporting would invade farmers’ privacy and put them at risk of being targeted by activist groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, which has been labeled a terrorist organization by the FBI.

Air emissions reporting under EPCRA has been an ongoing battle. NMPF and other agriculture groups were able to quash the notion that ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from manure were reportable under EPCRA and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act through a legislative fix in 2018 and a regulatory fix in 2019.

In January 2021, the Biden Administration issued an Executive Order instructing EPA to review and rethink its regulations. Later that same year, EPA requested a court, where legal action was ongoing, to send the rule back for review without nullifying it so the rule would remain in effect while undergoing review.

The agency’s plan to revoke the exemption it granted in 2019 was abandoned after pushback from NMPF and other agriculture groups. NMPF is cautiously optimistic that the common-sense exemption will be retained. On Feb. 14, Representatives Nick Langworthy, R-NY, and Jim Costa, D-CA, led a letter signed by 44 of their colleagues urging EPA to retain the current exemption.