EPA Air Quality Agreement
with Animal Feeding Operations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached
an agreement to study air emissions from livestock and poultry
operations. The primary goals of the Air Quality Compliance
- Reduce air pollution
- Ensure compliance with applicable Clean Air Act, Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
and Environmental Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
- Monitor and evaluate AFO emissions
- Promote a national consensus on methodologies for estimating
emissions from AFOs.
The so-called “consent agreement” spells out in
detail how farmers, including pork producers, can participate.
The Air Emissions study is needed to establish scientifically
valid standards to determine Clean Air Act regulatory thresholds
in animal agriculture. Without these on-farm measurements,
federal and state agencies would be forced to rely upon best-estimate
guidelines that may not be accurate, or may have been adjusted
from other species data.
Livestock and poultry producers have until May 1 st to sign
up their farms for the program. By signing up, producers admit
to no wrong doing, pay a “penalty” to the EPA based
on farm size, and become a candidate for possible selection
to participate in the 2-year air emissions study. Signing up
offers legal protections from the Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and
EPCRA for past emissions, with the understanding that future
compliance will be required once new policy has been established
(estimated time schedule for new EPA policy is June 2009).
Only those farms that have signed the agreement will be protected
for past violations. Check-off funds from the National Pork
Board have been designated to provide funding for the pork
part of the air emissions study.
For more information: