Ag News

EPA finalizes rule exempting farms from emissions reporting

On June 4, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a final rule amending the emergency release notification regulations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The amendments clarify that reporting of air emissions from animal waste at farms is not required under EPCRA.

The final rule comes as first responders across the country have repeatedly reminded the agency that community-specific protocols are determined between local responders and animal producers well in advance of emergencies. These strong partnerships provide a platform for resolving issues when they arise without the need for a national one-size-fits-all approach.

The changes to emergency release reporting regulations reflect the existing relationship between EPCRA and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and provide consistency between the two environmental laws. CERCLA is commonly known as the “Superfund Law,” and is intended to address hazardous waste sites. CERCLA includes a mandatory federal reporting component. Under a 2017 decision in a U.S. Court of Appeals, farms were subjected to the reporting requirements. The Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act of 2017 addressed the court ruling, and EPA’s final rule in agricultural exemption to EPCRA reporting implements one of the requirements in the FARM Act.

The final rule maintains consistency between the emergency release notification requirements of EPCRA and CERCLA in accordance with the statutory text and framework of EPCRA.

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