We previously discussed the decision of the D.C. Circuit in Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA, 853 F.3d, striking down EPA’s regulation that exempted farms from air pollution reporting requirements for releases of hazardous substances from animal wastes and EPA’s petition to stay the mandate in that case until late January 2018.  The D.C. Circuit responded to that petition on August 16 and ordered the issuance of the mandate be stayed through November 14, 2017. The Court’s order stated that “if necessary, EPA may request an extension of the stay” but clarified that any request for an extension should include a status update on EPA’s efforts to develop guidance.  Unless an additional stay is granted by the Court, owners or operators of farms with reportable releases of hazardous substances from animal waste must begin reporting those releases on November 15, 2017.

On October 26, EPA issued guidance for reporting releases of hazardous substances from animal waste.  The EPA guidance notes that the typical hazardous substances released from animal waste include ammonia and hydrogen sulfide and that release of 100 pounds or more of either substance from an entire farm over a 24 hour period will trigger the reporting obligation.  The EPA guidance also provides a number of tools for calculating such emissions from beef, dairy, equine, swine and poultry operations.

Our environmental attorneys can help potentially affected farm owners and operators understand and meet these release reporting requirements. For more information on how these regulations may impact your operation, please contact Robert Wilkinson or Megan McLean of Husch Blackwell’s Environmental team.