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Air Quality Compliance Agreement

Purpose of the Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) Air Emissions Consent Agreement and National Monitoring Study

On January 31, 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Animal Feeding Operations Consent Agreement and Final Order in the Federal Register.  The purpose of the agreement is to help ensure animal feeding operations (AFOs) are complying with existing, relevant air quality laws.  While EPA expects AFOs to comply with relevant air laws, the agency recognizes that data are lacking to determine if AFOs are exceeding the regulatory thresholds for emissions of regulated air pollutants. Therefore, a two-year national air monitoring study will be conducted to establish the regulatory thresholds for emissions from an AFO’s animal housing structures (barns, covered feedlots, etc.) and manure storage areas (lagoons, covered manure pits, etc.).  While participation in the agreement is not mandatory, it does provide some legal protections for producers.  By signing the agreement producers are provided protection against certain lawsuits brought by EPA, the state, and citizens.  The protection would cover all prior history for an AFO and extends to approximately 2009 (when the monitoring study is expected to be completed).  The signup period for the AFO Air Compliance Agreement runs from February 1, 2005 to July  1, 2005.

***** Comment Period Closed May 2, 2005 *****

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