EPA updated their website on April 30th to state that air emissions from animal waste are not required under CERCLA or EPCRA due to legislation that was passed in March. Here is a portion of their statement:
“. . . due to legislative changes in the ‘Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act’ or ‘FARM Act’ in March 2018, ‘air emissions from animal waste at a farm’ are exempt from reporting under CERCLA. These types of releases also do not need to be reported under EPCRA. For more information, please see: FARM Act Q&A.”
This legislation relieves livestock and poultry producers from both CERCLA and EPCRA air emissions reporting requirements related to animal waste. However, it is not a blanket exemption for all air emissions (an anhydrous ammonia tank, for example) that might occur on a farm.
Update: 1/23/2018 “On Friday, January 19, 2018, EPA filed a motion with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to further delay issuance of the mandate. No reporting is required until the Court issues its order, or mandate, enforcing its decision to eliminate the reporting exemptions for farms. EPA will be updating their webpage daily to provide information on the court mandate.” Update: 1/6/2018 2 recently addressed questions on the EPA website: Do farms that have animals that reside primarily outside of an enclosed structure and graze on pastures, need to comply with reporting releases of hazardous substances from animal wastes under CERCLA section 103?
Yes. EPA considers all contiguous property under common ownership to be a single facility for reporting purposes. For purposes of determining whether you have a reportable release, a person must identify all of the sources of hazardous substances releases, identify the quantities that are emitted from each source, and aggregate the quantities released for the facility. In making this determination, farms should include all releases from the facility, including releases from animal waste due to animals that reside primarily outside of an enclosed structure.
If a farmer made an initial notification before the court issued the mandate, do they still need to submit a written report to the EPA regional office within 30 days?
No. For those farmers who have already made their initial continuous release notification, the farmer may wait to submit the written report until the court issues the mandate. Within 30 days of the court mandate, the farmer must submit a written report to the EPA regional office. No additional call or email to the NRC is required.
Update: 11/27/2017 On November 22, 2017, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA’s motion to further stay the mandate until January 22, 2018” (EPA notice). During this extended time period, EPA will develop further guidance on reporting procedures. Farms do not need to submit an initial continuous release notification to the National Response Center until EPA provides further direction. Update: 11/16/2017 Farms with continuous releases do not have to submit their initial continuous release notification until the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issues its order, or mandate, enforcing the Court’s opinion of April 11, 2017. No reporting is necessary until the mandate is issued. EPA will update their website once the mandate is issued. Check it frequently for any new information that becomes available
Procedure for Reporting
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3104
*From EPA website 12/8/2017
Threshold Animal Numbers
Estimated number of animals that may generate ammonia emissions of more than 100 lb/day