LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska Cattlemen applauds Senator Deb Fischer for introducing Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM). This bill would waive new federal reporting requirements for air emissions generated from animal waste.
The law in question, the Comprehensive Emergency Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), more commonly known as Superfund, provides for the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous waste. Superfund sites require a long-term response to deal with serious environmental and health risks posed by industrial chemical and nuclear toxic waste dumps and oil spills.
Neither of these laws were intended to govern farmers and ranchers.
To make this clear, in 2008, the EPA finalized a rule to clarify that agricultural operations were exempt from CERCLA reporting requirements. However, on April 11, 2017, the D.C. Circuit invalidated this exemption.
Currently, the mandate is delayed until May 1, 2018. Absent congressional relief, livestock producers will be legally required to report low-level air emissions from animal waste once the mandate is issued.
“Nebraska Cattlemen greatly appreciates Senator Fischer’s help in relieving livestock producers from this absurd mandate. We take our responsibility to care for our environment very seriously, ensuring compliance with numerous state and federal regulations. Ranches are spread over many acres, and most feedlots are open-air systems that do not concentrate emissions. Regulating the livestock industry in the same manner as toxic waste dumps defies common sense and provides ZERO public health benefit,” said Galen Frenzen, President of Nebraska Cattlemen.
There is also significant concern from federal regulators that these reports will overburden the National Response Center and waste federal, state, and local resources designated for true emergencies.
Nebraska Cattlemen looks forward to working with Senator Fischer on swift congressional action on Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM)