The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers commend the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its proposed changes to the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know (EPCRA) Act. The rule would clarify that farms would not be required to report air releases from animal manure.
The poultry and egg industry groups remarked, “The removal of this unnecessary burden will ensure that emergency first responder’s important effort and time is not wasted on responding to non-emergencies. We look forward to working with local emergency planning commissions and emergency first responders to help them be familiar with how our poultry and egg facilities operate, so if there is a true emergency, their safety and efforts are enhanced.”
Congress made it clear in passing the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act (the FARM Act) earlier this year, which the poultry and egg industry strongly supported, that it did not intend to cover low-level air releases from the natural degradation of manure as an emergency notification under federal emergency response laws.
The FARM Act, passed on March 23, exempted farms from the requirement to submit emergency release reports to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center for air releases from manure under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The rule proposed by EPA today is the result of the Agency considering the intent of Congress to produce a common-sense approach to handling this issue under the nation’s emergency planning framework. Moreover, in light of ongoing efforts to improve and enhance communication between farmers and local emergency responders at the state and local level, this requirement is not needed.