New Emissions Reporting Requirements for Animal Farms Delayed until January

December 27, 2017
Kristine A. Tidgren

On March 23, 2018, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, into law. Title XI of this Act, the “Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act” (“FARM Act”) exempts the reporting of “air emissions from animal waste at a farm” under CERCLA.

On April 11, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated an EPA final rule that had been in place for nine years. The rule—called the CERCLA/EPCRA Administrative Reporting Exemption for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Animal Waste at Farms—exempted most farms from CERCLA and EPCRA reporting requirements for air releases from animal waste. The court ruled that the EPA had exceeded its statutory authority in granting the exemptions.

The court’s order subjected approximately 44,000 new commercial animal farms to reporting requirements the EPA has characterized as costly and burdensome.  Initially the court delayed enforcement of its mandate through November 14, 2017, to allow EPA to write new guidance for these new reporting requirements. The EPA issued its interim guidance on October 25, 2017, and sought additional public input. On November 22, 2017, in response to a motion filed by EPA, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order further delaying implementation of the reporting requirements until January 22, 2018. This will allow EPA to receive further public comment and refine its guidance materials.

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