The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved 20 air consent agreements – 10 from the pork industry and 10 from the egg industry. These agreements will protect producers from EPA enforcement actions for past air emissions violations, as well as for violations that might occur over the next four years.

 During that time, EPA will work with producers to quantify and analyze livestock air emissions and develop air emissions compliance standards and guidelines and enforcement policies. The action paves the way for EPA to approve consent agreements signed by more than 2,700 producers representing 13,000 operations, including 4,390 pork operations.

Key to the agreements is the EPA-approved monitoring and research study conducted by independent researchers. The study is expected to begin later this year and will provide EPA with a much stronger and more complete body of air emissions science and data that can be used to develop a sound, reasonable and effective air emissions regulatory program.

“Approval of these consent agreements is a critical step that advances our longstanding efforts to get EPA to use sound science to develop practical policies that work for pork producers of all sizes and types,” says Randy Spronk, chairman of NPPC’s environmental policy committee and a hog farmer from Edgerton, Minn.