Information on CERCLA-EPCRA
CERCLA/EPCRA Fact Sheet
Reporting Guidance Document
Posted January 16, 2009
In mid December 2008, it
seemed as though EPA finalized their exemption for farms to report air emissions
from animal operations. However, this doesn't now appear to be the full story.
The EPA exemption apparently applies only to the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and not the Emergency
Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). While it makes no sense and is
very confusing to say the least, it now looks like anyone with a permit for 1000
animal units or more who did not sign up for the Air Consent Agreement is
required to begin the reporting process no later than January 20, 2009. To do
this, you must call both your State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and the
Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and alert them that you will be filing
reports. The steps are outlined below in a document provided just today from
Region 7 EPA.
While this sounds like a typical governmental bureaucratic mess, a couple of
simple phone calls may keep you from getting hit with some kind of exorbitant
fines from the EPA.
NPPC is in the process of trying to get an injunction against EPA for this
requirement but we may not know before the January 20 deadline. We'll keep you
posted as to any further developments. Don
Posted January 19, 2009
Here is what we now know...
1 - The owner of any facility that houses over 1,000 animal units is required to
begin the reporting process by following the steps as outlined below by EPA.
2 - You need to make two phone calls - one to the state agency and one to your
local agency. The phone numbers are below.
3 - Document your calls by making a record of who you talked to and the time and
date of each call.
4 - Call the MPA at (573) 445-8375 to report any and all difficulties that you
have with the calling-in process.
5 - While NPPC is pursuing legal action regarding this issue, you still need to
call in to comply with the law and begin the reporting process to protect
yourself from potential fines and/or other legal actions.
Fact Sheet from US EPA
Rule Change Provides Exemptions from
for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from
Farm Animal Waste
EPA has finalized a rule providing a full
exemption for reporting air releases of
hazardous substances from animal waste at farms
to the federal government and a partial
exemption of reporting the releases to state and
local governments. This new rule exempts all
farms from reporting air releases under the
Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The
new rule requires only large animal feeding
operations to report certain types of releases
to local and state agencies, as directed by the
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know
Animal waste is a source of ammonia and hydrogen
sulfide releases to the air. These are hazardous
substances that, when released into the
environment above certain quantities, trigger
notification responsibilities under federal
regulations. The reportable quantity for ammonia
and hydrogen sulfide is 100 pounds within any
24-hour period. Prior to the exemption, all
operations that had releases exceeding the
reportable quantity were required to notify
federal, state and local governments.
The exemption created by the new rule does not
impact EPA's authority to respond to citizen
complaints or requests for assistance from state
or local government agencies to investigate
releases of hazardous substances from
farms. Releases of anhydrous ammonia greater
than 100 pounds in a 24-hour period, must still
be reported no matter the size of the
farm. Also, the rule does not apply to animal
waste that is not associated with farms, such as
from meat packing and research facilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is exempt from this air
A: The new rule exempts farms
confining fewer than:
ˇ 700 mature dairy cows, whether milked
ˇ 1,000 veal calves
ˇ 1,000 cattle other than mature dairy
cows or veal calves ("Cattle" includes, but is
not limited to, heifers, steers, bulls and
ˇ 2,500 swine each weighing 55 pounds or
ˇ 10,000 swine each weighing less than
ˇ 500 horses
ˇ 10,000 sheep or lamb
ˇ 55,000 turkeys
ˇ 30,000 laying hens or broilers, if the
farm uses a liquid manure handling system
ˇ 125,000 chickens (other than laying
hens) if the farm uses other than a liquid
manure handling system
ˇ 82,000 laying hens, if the farm uses
other than a liquid manure handling system
ˇ 30,000 ducks (if the farm uses other
than a liquid manure handling system)
ˇ 5,000 ducks (if the farm uses a liquid
manure handling system).
Q: How do I calculate the
normal range of air releases?
A: The amount of ammonia and
hydrogen sulfide released will vary
considerably, depending on feed, temperature,
type of confinement and manure handling. It is
up to the owner/operator to perform good faith
release calculations for normal lower and upper
Information helpful to making these calculations
can be obtained from a variety of sources,
including the following Web sites. (EPA Region 7
does not specifically endorse any of the
information found on these sites).
ˇ Kansas State & Texas A&M University
partnership - http://cafoaq.tamu.eduhttp://cafoaq.tamu.edu
ˇ Iowa State University -
ˇ University of Nebraska-Lincoln -
Q: If I'm not exempt from this
reporting requirement, what is the process to
report the air releases?
A: There is a three-step
process to report continuous releases.
Step 1: You must call state and local
agencies: the State Emergency Response
Commission (SERC) and the Local Emergency
Planning Committee (LEPC). The contact numbers
for the SERCs are as follows: Iowa (515)
281-8694; Kansas (785) 296-1679; Missouri (573)
634-2436; and Nebraska (402) 471-2186.
The LEPC is usually associated with your county
emergency management agency, whose telephone
number should be in your local telephone
directory, or accessible via the internet.
Step 2: Within 30 days of the call that
you made in Step 1, the person in charge of the
farm operation must complete and submit a
continuous release form to the SERC and LEPC.
The form can be downloaded at
Guidance for completing the form is found at
Step 3: On the first anniversary date of
the initial written notification, you need to
reassess and confirm the accuracy of your
calculations to the SERC and the LEPC in
Under the continuous release reporting
regulation, no further reporting is required for
the routine air releases covered under your
specific report unless the rate, quantity, or
ownership changes. If such a change occurs, you
will need to repeat the three-step reporting
process outlined above, or make separate daily
reports for those days. Also, if you signed up
for the Air Compliance Agreement study, or if
you have already filed a continuous release
report, no action is required at this time. You
may be required to file a new report, or update
your previous report, when the air study
agreement is completed.
Q: Where do I get further
information on the continuous release reporting
A: Contact EPA Region 7
Environmental Engineer Patricia Reitz,
firstname.lastname@example.org, (913) 551-7674,
Q: Where can I find
information pertaining to the CAFO exemption?
A: The full text of the new
rule exemption for smaller operations can be