On Friday, January 19, 2018 EPA posted on their website (after the conference call with farm leaders saying they expected the emissions requirement to go forward) the following statement:On Friday, January 19, 2018, EPA filed a motion with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to further delay issuance of the mandate. No reporting is required until the Court issues its order, or mandate, enforcing its decision to eliminate the reporting exemptions for farms.
Deadlines on reporting air emissions to EPA kept changing through 2017 and into 2018. The latest deadline is now January 22, 2018. EPA has simplified the reporting (see How To Report to EPA Ammonia Emissions from Farms).
In the NAEF Egg Farmers Newsletter sent out Memorial Day (May 29) we reminded all members that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has thrown out a 2008 final rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exempting farms from reporting ammonia and hydrogen sulfide when above 100 pounds.
All members have been provided a spreadsheet from the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University that will help you determine your emissions based on your housing style. In the Memorial Day release of the newsletter, we provided you the phone number of the National Response Center (NRC). Today is the final day to report to the NRC what the spreadsheet has calculated as to your emissions.
Why is this happening now? During rulemaking, the EPA proposed exempting farms from CERCLA and EPCRA reporting air releases from animal waste. “CERCLA” stands for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and “EPCRA” for the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
The EPA reasoned that requiring reports for animal waste air releases was “unnecessary” because a federal response would usually be “impractical and unlikely.” They noted that, as of 2007, they had never taken a response action based on animal waste. During public comment, the EPA expressly requested comments on whether there could be a situation where a response would be triggered due to air release from animal waste on a farm.
In 2008, the EPA finalized the rule. Soon after the rule was published, the lawsuits started rolling in. Environmental groups, led by Waterkeeper Alliance, argued that CERCLA and EPCRA do not allow the EPA to exempt anyone from reporting requirements if there are releases over the statutory reportable quantity. Further, the environmental groups claim that the rule is arbitrary in treating waste on farms differently than similar waste in other places, such as at a zoo or a slaughterhouse, which would not be exempted from reporting.
So now, under CERCLA and EPCRA farmers must notify the National Response Center (NRC) when amounts of certain hazardous materials over a set quantity of 100 pounds are released into the environment.
How to Report to EPA Ammonia Emissions from Farms
- Notify the National Response Center. This may be done by email (
). Please identify your reportable release as an “initial continuous release notification.”
- Submit an initial written notification to the EPA Regional Office; and
- One year later submit an additional follow-up written notification to the EPA Regional Office.
Local Emergency Planning Committee (https://www.epa.gov/epcra/local-emergency-planning-committees&;source=gmail&ust=1496333767129000&usg=AFQjCNGXBbyda7WtGdRhRO9KnZQpSsTXhw">https://www.epa.gov/epcra/local-emergency-planning-committees)