Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler recently finalized a rule exempting livestock producers from unnecessary reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Created in 1986, EPCRA was created to help communities plan for chemical emergencies. It requires industry to report on the storage, use and releases of hazardous substances to federal, state, and local governments to help prepare for potential risks. In March of 2018, Congress addressed this issue with the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act exempting livestock operations from reporting requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The recent action from the EPA was the implementation of this measure.
“Farmers, ranchers, and emergency response officials all agree: routine emissions from agricultural operations are not a threat to local communities. Congress made a common-sense decision to exempt livestock producers from frivolous reporting requirements at the federal level with its passage of the FARM Act, and we are glad to see EPA fully implement the law by providing relief from burdensome state and local reporting requirements,” said Jennifer Houston, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Rather than submitting needless paperwork, talking to responders about potential on-farm hazards can save lives. The removal of this unnecessary burden will allow first responders to focus on real emergencies, and will allow livestock producers to focus on feeding the world.”