According to the National Milk Producers Federation, last week the Environmental Protection Agency approved the first round of dairy Air Consent Agreements. As a result, the EPA's Environmental Appeals Board has sent letters to those participating dairies to finalize the approval process.
So far, EPA has mailed letters to 286 of the 600 dairies who signed up for the Air Consent Agreement program. In the letter, the EPA requests payment for the penalty fee. The penalty fee is based on farm size. Payment of the penalty is required so that EPA can legally release participating dairy farms from possible past violations of the Clean Air Act, CERCLA and EPCRA. The penalty fee breakdown is as follows:
- Less than 700 mature cows - $200 per dairy.
- 700 to 6,999 mature cows - $500 per dairy.
- 7,000 or more mature cows - $1,000 per dairy.
EPA is in the process of reviewing the remainder of the consent agreements which all include Confidential Business Information (CBI). Once EPA has reviewed comments from the affected dairies on the CBI component, EPA will determine how to proceed with the rest of the dairy agreements.
If you have any questions regarding the letter received from EPA or the penalty amount, producers should contact Sanda Howland at (202) 564-5022 or Tim Sullivan at (202) 564-2723 at EPA headquarters.