Step forward in air consent agreement
204 egg-laying operations and 40 broiler operations
have so far signed up for the US federal Air Consent Agreement, a voluntary
programme to allow the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to gather air
emissions data from agricultural animal feeding operations.
The volunteer organisations are in the process of completing the paperwork to be included in the programme.
Under the Air Consent Agreement, the EPA
would provide a 'safe harbour' for egg producers who voluntarily agree to participate in a study of air emissions from agricultural facilities. In return for participating in the study, producers would be exempt from liability until the study is completed and final air emission regulations established.
EPA determined the study was needed because the agency did not have sufficient air emissions data to write potential regulatory requirements for agricultural animal feeding operations.
The next step is a 24-month monitoring of the agricultural operations, followed by an 18-month evaluation of the data and finally the writing of any regulations concerning air emissions.
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