Livestock Farmers Exempt from Routine Emissions Reporting

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its rule to exempt livestock producers from reporting routine emissions to state and local authorities. 

"Today's rule is the final piece in the implementation of the FARM (Fair Agricultural Reporting Method) 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 National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President David Herring, and a pork producer from Lillington, N.C., in a news release. "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."

In April 2017, a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 EPA rule exempting farmers from routine farm emissions reporting under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The EPA’s new rule means farmers will not need to report emissions from manure on farms to local and state first responders under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), an adjunct to CERCLA. 

In a release, NPPC emphasized that state and local first responders prefer open lines of communication sharing with farmers — something the U.S. pork industry is already undertaking — over additional reporting. NPPC also points to its Pork Quality Assurance Plus Program, which encourages producers to engage with local first responders to build open lines of communication.