In preparation for the Jan. 22 expiration of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s stay of the requirement to submit emission reports to the National Response Commission (NRC), the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) developed a tutorial video to assist growers with submitting continuous release reports associated with the release of low levels of ammonia into the air generated from the natural breakdown of manure. These reports will be required because the D.C. Court of Appeals, in April 2017, ruled against EPA’s 2008 rational determination that these low-level emissions do not warrant the submission of release reports that are meant to trigger an immediate response by emergency personnel.

USPOULTRY’s video tutorial provides background into a 2005 petition by the poultry and egg industry requesting an exemption from emergency release reporting under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). More importantly, the video provides poultry and egg farmers with an overview of the CERCLA continuous release reporting requirements and step-by-step instructions for notifying the NRC and filling out and submitting the initial written report and 12-month follow-up report to the appropriate EPA Regional office. Guidance issued by EPA in October 2017 indicated EPCRA emergency release reporting for farms is not required because “farms that use substances in ‘routine agricultural operations’” are exempt from reporting under EPCRA section 304.

John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY, explained, “The need for the video became apparent following a brief early period of reporting from a small number of farms that raise livestock and poultry. As we feared, a few hundred calls crippled the system, and it hampered the National Response Commission’s ability the focus on calls that may have really required an emergency response. This led EPA and the NRC to modify the published reporting process, which made the procedure even more confusing to our members.”

The tutorial video, which can be accessed at http://www.uspoultry.org/environment/regulatory.cfm, references a reporting form and a detailed CERCLA reporting guidance document, also developed by USPOULTRY. These additional documents can be accessed on USPOULTRY’s website at http://www.uspoultry.org/environment/regulatory.cfm and clicking on “USPOULTRY CERCLA Reporting Guidance.”