Reporting on air releases from animal waste delayed until May
BISMARCK, N.D. – Livestock producers now have until May 1 before they must report hazardous substance air releases from animal waste under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s motion to delay the mandate, which was originally to be implemented Jan. 22. The law will require producers to report releases that meet or exceed 100 pounds of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide within a 24-hour period.
CERCLA and a related law, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), have always required such reporting in order to help federal, state and local officials evaluate the need for an emergency response to mitigate the effects of the release to the community.
“Previously farms were exempted from these requirements, but environmental and animal rights activist groups such as HSUS and the Waterkeeper Alliance sued EPA, and the courts eliminated the exemptions,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.
Goehring said there is not clear guidance for producers to help determine if they are required to report. He recently met with the EPA and there is continuing discussion concerning the reporting requirements.
We will work with our congressional delegation to seek a legislative fix to the mandatory reporting,” Goehring said.
Producers can visit http://www.epa.gov/animalwaste to look at models to help determine if they are affected. No reporting is necessary until the mandate is issued.
–North Dakota Agriculture Department