EPA announced a final rule providing an administrative reporting exemption for air releases of hazardous substances from animal waste at farms, according to an agency press statement.
This rule will enable response authorities to better focus their attention on hazardous substance releases that require a response, while reducing reporting burdens on America’s farms, according to EPA. Notifications must still be made to response authorities when hazardous substances are released to the air from sources other than animal waste (e.g., ammonia tanks), and when hazardous substances are released to soil and water.
Administrative exemptions from particular notification requirements are authorized under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
The limited exemption under EPCRA resulted from EPA receiving comments on the proposed rule from state and local officials indicating that, although they did not expect to respond to notifications of air releases of hazardous substances from animal waste at farms, some still wished to receive notifications from large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), according to the agency. EPA has addressed these comments by requiring large CAFOs to continue submitting emergency notification reports under EPCRA.