The Environmental Protection Agency has until November 14th to decide how to enforce emissions requirements for thousands of animal feeding operations across the country. An Agri-Pulse report says a recent Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals decision says the agency illegally exempted all but the largest operations from reporting releases of hazardous substances above certain levels. The court was looking specifically at a 2008 rule that gave a blanket exemption from air reporting requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, which requires reporting to federal authorities. The rule exempted all but the largest operations from requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know-Act, which requires operators to report to both state and federal authorities. The EPA asked the court to delay the mandate requiring the agency to enforce the rule until January 17th because farmers didn’t know how to comply with the rules. The environmental groups that initially brought a lawsuit over the reporting exemptions say there isn’t a need for any type of delay. However, the EPA says just because farmers were subject to reporting requirements before 2008 doesn’t necessarily mean they understood how to meet those requirements.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.