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EIP comments on EPA tools to estimate and regulate factory farm air emissions, suggesting improvements but supporting step in the right direction
June 12, 2012
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed its first draft tools to estimate toxic air emissions from factory farms, including ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic chemicals. These tools will pave the way for nationwide regulation of the most polluting Animal Feeding Operations under the Clean Air Act and right-to-know laws. The draft estimates confirm other studies' predictions that many large broiler chicken facilities emit so much ammonia that they must report emissions.
EIP and other groups commented on the drafts, supporting EPA's efforts to finally measure and regulate factory farm emissions, but recommending several important changes, including:
- Consideration of data from peer-reviewed emissions studies, in addition to data from EPA's own flawed National Air Emissions Monitoring Study of just 20 facilities
- Reconsideration of EPA's arbitrary decision to exclude valid data from the study, which limited the information available to accurately model emissions
- Requiring all animal feeding operations to estimate and report emissions, not only those who participated in a 2005 sweetheart deal with EPA, receiving amnesty from enforcement in exchange for participation
Factory farm emissions harm public health, rural quality of life, and water quality, yet have escaped meaningful regulation for decades.
For a copy of the press release, click here.
For the comments, click here.