Court recognizes challenges to CERCLA reporting for poultry and egg farmers
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order Feb. 1, granting an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) request for an additional extension of the current stay of the mandate to submit reports notifying the National Response Commission of the release of low levels of ammonia from poultry and egg farms. After considering EPA’s motion for further stay of issuance of the mandate, and a support brief filed by USPOULTRY and the National Pork Producers Council, the court issued an order granting the extension of the stay of the requirement to report under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) until May 1.
EPA’s motion delineated the many challenges they are facing as they work to provide guidance to poultry and egg farmers across the United States. The agency’s motion indicates the additional time will give EPA the opportunity to consider the many comments it has received since it released preliminary reporting guidance in October 2017. The extension will also allow EPA to conduct a broader outreach program that will assist farms with coming into compliance. This will especially benefit farms that may not be aware of the reporting requirements and guidance because they do not have access to the internet.
John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY commented, “We are happy the court recognizes the many challenges this reporting requirement creates and has responded positively to EPA’s reasonable request for additional time. This provides time for a broad and efficient outreach campaign that informs producers of these crucial requirements.”
EPA’s current guidance document can be found here. EPA has indicated these are living documents and has committed to consider additional stakeholder feedback as they receive it.