EPA Proposes Improved Method for Farm Animal Waste Reporting

The EPA proposed a rule change that would provide an administrative reporting exemption for air releases of hazardous substances – primarily ammonia and hydrogen sulfide – from animal waste at farms.

The rule could enable response authorities to better focus their attention on hazardous substance releases that require emergency response, and would also reduce reporting burdens on U.S. farms.

Administrative exemptions from particular notification requirements are authorized under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, also known as Superfund and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Under Federal National Contingency Plan (NCP) regulations, farms and other facilities are required to report any releases of hazardous substances above an EPA-established level to the Coast Guard National Response Center and state and local emergency response authorities.

EPA proposes to eliminate these reporting requirements because it is unnecessary to respond to animal waste air releases at farms. The rule would reduce the reporting burden on the regulated community and allow emergency responders to instead focus on hazardous substance releases that require response.

Emergency response authorities must still be notified when hazardous substances are released to the air, soil or water from sources other than animal waste, such as ammonia tanks.

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