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EPA enacts exemption for farmers from emission reporting

Photo by Anna Hastert

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler Tuesday announced the final rule amending the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, which exempts farmers. The amendments clarify that reporting of air emissions from animal waste at farms is not required under the law. Wheeler says the change “allows emergency responders and farmers to focus on protecting the public and feeding the nation, not routine animal waste emissions.”

Farm groups welcomed the exemption. The rule is the final piece in the implementation of the FARM Act, which passed Congress with bipartisan support last year and eliminated the need for livestock farmers to estimate and report emissions from the natural breakdown of manure. National Pork Producers Council President David Herring says the measure was approved because “it was unnecessary and impractical” for farmers to report. And, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston says Congress made “a common-sense decision” to exempt livestock producers, adding NCBA is “glad to see EPA fully implement the law.”

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