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EPA Proposes Better Approach to Reporting Hazardous Substances from Farm Animal Waste

Release Date: 12/21/2007
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Dec. 21, 2007) EPA has proposed a rule change to provide an administrative reporting exemption for air releases of hazardous substances -- primarily ammonia and hydrogen sulfide -- from animal waste at farms.

EPA is today proposing a rule enabling response authorities to better focus their attention on hazardous substance releases that require emergency response while reducing reporting burdens on America’s farms. EPA’s proposed rule provides an administrative reporting exemption for air releases of hazardous substances -- primarily ammonia and hydrogen sulfide -- from animal waste at farms. Release notifications must still be made to emergency response authorities when hazardous substances are released to the air from sources other than animal waste (e.g., ammonia tanks), as well as releases of hazardous substances 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).

Under Federal National Contingency Plan (NCP) regulations, farms and other facilities are required to report any releases of hazardous substances above an EPA-established level to the Coast Guard National Response Center and state and local emergency response authorities.

EPA is proposing to eliminate these reports for air releases from animal waste at farms because it is unnecessary to respond to such reports. This proposed rule would reduce the burden on the regulated community of complying with these reporting requirements and allow emergency responders to focus on hazardous substance releases that would require a response.

More information on this proposed rule: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/epcra/cercla_dec07.htm