Final EPA Rule Exempts Farms From Emissions Reporting

A news release this week from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) stated that, “The [NPPC] today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for finalizing its rule exempting livestock farmers from reporting to state and local authorities the routine emissions from their farms.

“‘Today’s rule is the final piece in the implementation of the FARM Act, which passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support last year and eliminated the need for livestock farmers to estimate and report to the federal government emissions from the natural breakdown of manure,’ said NPPC President David Herring, and a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina. ‘That bipartisan measure was approved because it was unnecessary and impractical for farmers to waste time and resources alerting government agencies that there are livestock on farms.’

The Fair Agricultural Reporting Method, or FARM Act, fixed a problem created in April 2017 when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 EPA rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Commonly known as the ‘Superfund Law,’ CERCLA is used primarily to clean hazardous waste sites but also includes a mandatory federal reporting component.”

The news update explained that, “The appeals court ruling would have forced tens of thousands of livestock farmers to ‘guesstimate’ and report the emissions from manure on their farms to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center and subjected them to citizen lawsuits from activist groups.”

“‘The pork industry wants regulations that are practical and effective but applying CERCLA and EPCRA to livestock farms is neither,’ Herring said. ‘Pork producers are very strong stewards of the environment and have taken many actions over the years to protect it.  We applaud President Trump for relieving America’s farmers from filing these unnecessary reports,’ he added.”

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