Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reporting Livestock Emissions

EPA Won't Exempt CAFO's in Livestock Air Emissions Rule
Matt Kaye

EPA has bowed to environmentalists and decided not to completely exempt major livestock operations from toxic air emission reporting requirements. American Farm Bureau’s Tyler Wegmeyer says EPA will not exempt big livestock operations from all emission reporting, even though it originally proposed to.

According to Wegmeyer, “There was a compromise, because of environmental concerns from the environmental community, that made large CAFOs, Confined Animal Feeding Operations, they still have to report to the local and state authorities.”

Small operations are still exempt and, under the new rule that takes effect 30-days from last Friday, all operations are exempt from federal reporting. EPA says federal responders deal with train wrecks, explosions and fires, not farms.

But environmentalists and state air quality agencies blame ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from manure pits for the deaths of some 2-dozen people near Midwest operations over the past 30-years. Farm Bureau argues no reporting is justified, based on normal air emissions from animal waste. Read More

The exact details on who has to report and how are yet to be seen but this does set a rather dangerous precedent for livestock producers. Currently, larger feeding operations already have a nutrient management plan in place. The fear should be that even if you are following your approved plan can this new regulation throw that out the window and suddenly you are now non-compliant. It’s important to remember that most of these regulations continue to be pushed not to benefit the environment, but rather to cause harm to the livestock industry.

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