More than 2,000 animal feeding operations have signed agreements for EPA's air compliance initiative. Sign-up ended August 12, but the agency will continue to process agreements postmarked with Friday's date.
Many of the companies that signed up have several farms that will come under the agreement. Applicants originate from more than 37 states across the United States and include representation from the pork, egg layers, meat birds, and dairy industries.
After EPA makes an official determination as to whether all types of animals are adequately represented, the agency will request approval from EPA's Environmental Appeals Board. Once the EAB approves the agreements, the monitoring study can begin.
"Thousands of farms across the country have committed to participating in the air monitoring process, and, if necessary, take whatever steps are required to come into compliance with clean air standards," said Jon Scholl, agricultural adviser to the EPA administrator. "This broad participation is a major achievement. We now will move as quickly as possible to the monitoring and implementation stages."
The two-year monitoring study, expected to begin in early 2006, will provide EPA with the essential data needed to develop emissions estimating methods and tools, which will assist the industry and EPA in determining the air compliance status of AFOs. Participating AFOs will then be required to determine their emissions and comply with all applicable regulatory requirements. Under the agreement, EPA will not sue participating AFOs for certain violations of the Clean Air Act and the hazardous release reporting requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act that may have occurred during the two-year study.
For more information about the agreement, go to: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/agreements/caa/cafo-agr-0501.html
Environmental Protection Agency