The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers this week commended the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for finalizing a rule that amends the emergency release notification regulations under section 304 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

Congress made it clear they did not categorize the low-level emission of ammonia that comes from poultry houses and barns as manure naturally degrades as a hazard to be covered under an emergency notification program when they passed the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act (FARM Act) in 2018. The FARM Act passed on March 23, 2018, when the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law and exempted farms from the requirement to submit emergency release reports for air emissions from animal waste under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The rule finalized by EPA on Tuesday is the result of the Agency considering the will of Congress and a comprehensive review of the criteria for EPCRA section 304 release reporting requirements. The EPA’s review appropriately recognized EPCRA reporting requirements are statutorily tied to CERCLA notification requirements. Because the low-level ammonia releases from animal manure is now exempt from CERCLA notification, EPCRA reporting for these low-level releases similarly fails to meet the reporting requirement as it does not: “Occurs in a manner that would require notification under section 103(a) of CERCLA.”