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No exemptions from CERCLA emissions reporting after court ruling

10 November 2017, at 12:00am

Livestock and poultry farmers are required to notify federal authorities under CERCLA and state and local authorities under EPCRA if their facilities are estimated to be emitting over 100 lb. per day of either ammonia or Hydrogen sulphide, with the deadline as soon as November 15th 2017.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) have called upon facilities to report their releases of hazardous substances that are equal to or greater than their reportable quantities (RQ) within any 24-hour period.

The request comes as a result of an appeals court ruling that requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce a hazardous substance reporting rule under CERCLA. Previously, farms that were releasing hazardous animal waste substances into the air above threshold levels were exempted from reporting under CERCLA, and only large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) were required to report under EPCRA.

This year, the validity of the exemption ruling under CERCLA was challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. On April 11th of this year, the Court struck down the final rule, eliminating the reporting exemptions for farms. The EPA have appealed for a delay on the effective date of the ruling changes to ensure that sufficient advice and guidance can be provided to farmers to help ease the transition into new reporting obligations.

The current deadline for reporting of air-borne release of hazardous substances to authorities is November 15th 2017.

To estimate your current hazardous waste emissions, head to the EPA swine report worksheet by following this link

To obtain a Continuous Release Reporting form, please visit the EPA site here

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