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Poultry groups welcome release paperwork requirements

by 5m Editor
27 December 2007, at 10:11am

US - This is a joint statement by the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association on today’s announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Environmental Protection Agency has wisely proposed to grant to poultry farmers a narrowly tailored exemption from rules that would otherwise require them to report ‘emissions’ that are actually nothing more than the normal consequences of livestock and poultry operations. The fact is that chickens and turkeys, like cattle, produce ammonia in small concentrations as their wastes biologically degrade. These are not the industrial emissions that are regulated by the law.

“Putting these types of emissions under CERCLA/EPCRA emergency reporting requirements would needlessly burden both 40,000 family farmers and many local fire and rescue services with paperwork and unnecessary communications. As the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality put it in comments to EPA: ‘A significant number of daily notifications as required per CERCLA and EPCRA would strain our resources and unnecessarily divert our attention from potentially serious emergencies to which we must respond.’

“EPA is to be commended for acting with common sense.” A link to the proposed rule can be found at http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/epcra/cercla_dec07.htm

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of the NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

The National Turkey Federation is the advocate for all segments of the U.S. turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members’ products. The federation also protects and enhances its members’ ability to effectively and profitably provide wholesome, high quality, nutritious turkey products.

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the “All Feather” association, is a national organization that represents its members in all aspects of poultry and eggs on both a national and an international level.

The EPA news release said as follows:

EPA Proposes Better Approach to Reporting Hazardous Substances from Farm Animal Waste

(Washington, D.C. - Dec. 21, 2007) EPA has proposed a rule change to provide an administrative reporting exemption for air releases of hazardous substances -- primarily ammonia and hydrogen sulfide -- from animal waste at farms.

EPA is today proposing a rule enabling response authorities to better focus their attention on hazardous substance releases that require emergency response while reducing reporting burdens on America’s farms. EPA’s proposed rule provides an administrative reporting exemption for air releases of hazardous substances -- primarily ammonia and hydrogen sulfide -- from animal waste at farms. Release notifications must still be made to emergency response authorities when hazardous substances are released to the air from sources other than animal waste (e.g., ammonia tanks), as well as releases of hazardous substances to soil and water.

Administrative exemptions from particular notification requirements are authorized under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

Under Federal National Contingency Plan (NCP) regulations, farms and other facilities are required to report any releases of hazardous substances above an EPA-established level to the Coast Guard National Response Center and state and local emergency response authorities.

EPA is proposing to eliminate these reports for air releases from animal waste at farms because it is unnecessary to respond to such reports. This proposed rule would reduce the burden on the regulated community of complying with these reporting requirements and allow emergency responders to focus on hazardous substance releases that would require a response.

5m Editor