The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a final rule, effective January 20, 2009, to provide an administrative reporting exemption for releases to the air from animal waste at farms of any hazardous substance at or above the reportable quantity for those hazardous substances. EPA is saying that these reports are unnecessary because there is no reasonable expectation that a Federal response would be made as a result of such reports.
The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association issued a joint statement welcoming the announcement from the EPA granting an exemption for poultry farms from having to report naturally occurring air releases of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide as an "emergency release" under the CERCLA and EPCRA emergency reporting framework. The exemption affects a majority of the family farmers engaged in poultry live production that operate in the United States.
The groups filed a petition in August 2005 to exempt poultry growing operations from EPCRA and CERCLA emergency reporting requirements for ammonia emissions that originate from poultry production. The petition for the reporting exemption was based on the fact that ammonia emissions from poultry houses pose little or no risk to the public, and emergency reporting would be an additional burden on emergency response personnel.
The reporting exemption for the EPCRA program granted applies to poultry farmers whose operations house fewer than 125,000 broilers, 55,000 turkeys or 30,000 laying hens. The EPA intends to provide guidance to assist facilities that house more than these numbers.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/oem/content/epcra