According to Stephen Johnson, administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency is developing a proposed regulation that would exempt concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from mandates to report their air emissions under Superfund laws.

The proposal will likely satisfy many agriculture industry officials, who have petitioned EPA for a narrow exemption from Superfund reporting rules, though the approach does not go as far as some industry officials have urged.

"EPA will soon ... be proposing a rule that will exempt air releases from animal waste from CERCLA emergency notification requirements," Johnson told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies on Feb. 28. He said EPA would issue the proposal this year. Johnson made the commitment in response to a question from Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), who raised concerns about the impact of environmental requirements on farmers in her district.

Johnson's remarks suggest the upcoming rule will apply to additional farm industry sectors as well, and that it may extend to hydrogen sulfide or other pollutants.


National Milk Producers Federation