Representatives of several animal agriculture groups recently met with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Assistant Administrator of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum and other Air Office staff to discuss the agency’s plans to finalize the development of methodologies to estimate emissions of various substances from farms. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) progress in developing the emission estimation methodologies (EEMs), from data collected in the animal agriculture industry-funded National Air Emissions Monitoring (NAEM) Study, has stalled for a number of years due to concerns over how accurate the EEMs will be given the many different variables that factor into the generation of emissions. 

Despite the recent change to federal reporting requirements that exempt farms from reporting the emission of substances that are generated from the breakdown of manure, EPA has indicated they will complete the development of the EEMs using the data collected during the NAEM study and other validated emission studies. Office of Air and Radiation personnel indicated it was important to complete the EEMs for a number of reasons, including a 2006 Air Consent Agreement between the Agency and thousands of animal feeding operations and as a tool that will allow farmers to evaluate their responsibilities under federal and state air permitting requirements.