Livestock Air Emissions Reporting: What's Next?

As I've written before, the livestock industry has been whiplashed by the back and forth of the EPA's air emissions livestock reporting requirement changes. After the DC Court of Appeals held the ag exemption to the requirement for emissions reporting was unlawful, producers started scrambling to figure out how to comply. The Court set a November 15, 2017 deadline for compliance, but eventually delayed the implementation date to January 22, 2018. Now that date looms ahead and we are still waiting on guidance from the EPA. 

At this point, farms with continuous releases do not have to submit their initial continuous release notification until the Court issues its order (its "mandate") enforcing its April 11, 2017 ruling.  The Court is expected to issue the mandate on January 22, 2018. No reporting is necessary until the mandate is issued.

Farms that have already made the initial continuous release report do not have to submit a written report until the court issues the mandate. Within 30 days of the court mandate, the farmer must submit a written report to the EPA regional office.

EPA is committed to providing America’s farmers and ranchers – people committed to conserving the land and the environment- the clarity needed in meeting their reporting obligations required by law.
— Scott Pruitt, EPA

Presumably, the EPA has used the past two months to update its guidance and prepare a more streamlined reporting form for livestock operations. The EPA told the court these forms were under development. I hope the new forms provide clarity to producers, especially regarding which categories of livestock producers are required to report. I also hope the forms make it clear the livestock producers are only providing estimates, as there is no accepted method for accurately measuring air emissions from animal waste. 

Stay tuned for further information from the EPA regarding the reporting requirements.