The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has granted EPA's request to stay until May 1 the deadline
for most farms to come into compliance with EPCRA and CERCLA chemical release reporting requirements. EPA has advised affected farmers to hold back reporting until the courts issue a mandate to officially eliminate exclusions for farmers granted in a 2008 Final Rule.
US EPA last week filed a motion with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to delay the effective date of chemical release reporting requirements applicable to animal waste at farms under two major EPA programs, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
Under CERCLA and EPCRA, facilities must report releases of listed chemical substances that exceed the “reportable quantity,” or RQ. For farm owners or operators, chemicals originating from animal waste and likely covered under these programs include ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, both of which have an RQ of 100 lbs.
In addition, spills or unintended releases of pesticides may be subject to CERCLA and EPCRA reporting, if the reportable quantity of a reportable chemical is released.
Unlike some other environmental regulations delayed or rescinded by the current administration, the CERCLA and EPCRA reporting rules for animal waste have long been targeted for elimination by EPA. In 2008, EPA promulgated a Final Rule to exclude most farms from the chemical release reporting requirements. That rule was challenged by citizen groups and ultimately struck down in April 2017.
Since then, EPA succeeded in staying the reporting obligations until January 22 of this year and is now seeking further delay. Farmers who may be affected should wait to report, EPA says
, until the Circuit Court makes a decision on EPA’s latest request.
US EPA has prepared a fact sheet to help farm owners and operators
prepare to meet their reporting responsibilities under CERCLA and EPCRA.
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