Agriculture Groups Join Lawsuit Supporting EPA Rule on Air Emissions

( U.S. Environmental Protection Agency )

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and American Farm Bureau Federation filed a motion on Sept. 1 to side with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice in September 2018. 

The suit against EPA represents the interests of a broad coalition of animal rights and environmental groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, Sierra Club and Waterkeeper Alliance, to force producers to submit onerous emissions reports to state and local regulators under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), NPPC said in a release. 

EPA issued a rule in December 2008 exempting all farms from having to report releases of hazardous substances emitted to the air from animal waste at farms under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), but required reports under EPCRA.  

Both NPPC and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association challenged that rule in court, NPPC explained in the release. 

Nearly a decade later, the D.C. Circuit invalidated the 2008 rule in a 2017 decision that prompted a majority of Congress to pass The FARM ACT, making it clear that farms did not have to report emissions under CERCLA, NPPC said in a release.  

Following passage of the FARM Act, EPA issued regulations in 2018 exempting farms from reporting under EPCRA. 

The industry awaits EPA’s publication of long-overdue emission estimating methodologies, required under consent decrees signed in 2006, to help producers comply with air emission reporting and permitting requirements, NPPC said in a release. Read the motion here.  

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