Omnibus Bill Removes Livestock Air Emissions Reporting Requirement

The 2018 federal omnibus spending bill fixed the ongoing confusion surrounding livestock air emissions reporting requirements. 

As I've reported before, the EPA has been struggling with a recent D.C. Circuit federal court decision which vacated an agency rule exempting livestock operations from air emissions reporting requirements. The court's finding eventually would have required livestock operators to report air emissions. The EPA asked for multiple delays before the new requirement became effective in order to work out the best way to accurately estimate air emissions and how an operation should report its theoretical emissions. 

On March 23, 2018, the president signed the the federal omnibus spending bill (called the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018) into law. Title XI of the bill is called the "Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act" (or FARM Act). The FARM Act provides that the reporting requirements of CERCLA do not apply to the application, handling, or storage of a registered pesticide by an agricultural producer or to air emissions from animal waste at a farm. "Farm" is defined as a site or area (including structures) used for the production of a crop or the raising or selling of animals, which produces at least $1,000 in agricultural products per year.

The FARM Act means that even when the D.C. Circuit Court eventually issues its mandate formally vacating the EPA exemption rule, livestock operators will be exempt from CERCLA air emissions reporting requirements under the FARM Act.