WASHINGTON – More than 2,000 animal feeding operations have signed agreements for the Environmental Protection Agency’s air compliance initiative.
Participants. Many of the companies that signed up have several farms that will come under the agreement.
Applicants originate from more than 37 states across the United States and include representation from the pork, egg layers, meat birds, and dairy industries.
After the agency makes an official determination as to whether all types of animals are adequately represented, the agency will request approval from its Environmental Appeals Board.
Once the board approves the agreements, the monitoring study can begin.
“Thousands of farms across the country have committed to participating in the air monitoring process, and, if necessary, take whatever steps are required to come into compliance with clean air standards,” said Jon Scholl, agricultural adviser to the agency administrator.
“This broad participation is a major achievement. We now will move as quickly as possible to the monitoring and implementation stages.”
Monitoring. The two-year monitoring study, expected to begin in early 2006, will provide the agency with the essential data needed to develop emissions estimating methods and tools, which will assist the industry and the agency in determining the air compliance status of animal feeding operations.
Participating operations will then be required to determine their emissions and comply with all applicable regulatory requirements.
Under the agreement, the agency will not sue participating operations for certain violations of the Clean Air Act and the hazardous release reporting requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act that may have occurred during the two-year study.
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Goals of the agreement
The Environmental Protection Agency announced the Air Quality Compliance Agreement Jan. 21 of this year; from then until Aug. 12, the agreement could have been signed. Its primary goals are to: