Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) filed a motion in the D.C. Circuit asking the court to delay the reporting requirement until 2018. Unless the motion is granted, farms with reportable releases of hazardous substances from animal waste must begin reporting those releases next Wednesday, November 15, 2017.
On November 9, the National Pork Producers Council and the United States Poultry and Egg Association filed a motion in support of EPA’s request to postpone the reporting requirement. According to the motion, the additional time is needed for three reasons: (1) the new emissions estimation and reporting requirements are causing farmers confusion and concern; (2) the National Response Center is not yet equipped to handle the thousands of telephone reports from farmers reporting ammonia emissions; and (3) EPA needs additional time to finalize its emissions calculation and reporting guidance.
The same day, Waterkeeper Alliance filed a motion in opposition on the grounds that EPA has already issued sufficient guidance for farmers to comply with the emissions reporting requirements. Waterkeeper Alliance also asked the D.C. Circuit to clearly state in the mandate that it’s April 2017 Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA opinion does not permit the EPCRA interpretation EPA announced in its interim guidance. Finally, Waterkeeper Alliance asked the D.C. Circuit to retain jurisdiction over the matter for three years to ensure that EPA implements and enforces the reporting mandate.