Sen. Moran Hosts EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler in Kansas City to Sign Deregulatory Emissions Rule
Oct 30 2018
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works – today hosted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler in Kansas City, Kan. at the EPA Region 7 Lab. Acting Administrator Wheeler signed a rule to amend the emergency release notification regulations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) to make clear that reporting of air emission from animal waste at farms is not required under EPCRA.
Sen. Moran also hosted Administrator Wheeler for an all-hands meeting with EPA's employees, a roundtable with community leaders and a tour of EPA’s Region 7 Lab. While at the lab, Administrator Wheeler signed the proposed EPCRA exemption with Sen. Moran. They were joined by Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Jackie McClaskey, NASTTPO President Tim Gablehouse, and representatives from USDA, the Kansas Farm Bureau, the Kansas Livestock Association, Nebraska Cattlemen, the Livestock Marketing Association and the National Pork Producers Council.
“Farmers and ranchers continue to face numerous challenges, and the removal of this unnecessary and burdensome regulation is welcome news for producers across our state,” said Sen. Moran. “It was never the intent of Congress for normal odors from animal waste on farms to fall under our nation’s emergency hazardous waste reporting requirements, so I appreciate Administrator Wheeler taking definitive action today to provide certainty to the livestock industry. The resources of our emergency responders ought to be focused on protecting the public from true environmental and chemical emergencies, not odors from animal waste.”
“This proposed rule is intended to make it clear to the regulated community that animal waste emissions from farms do not need to be reported under EPCRA,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This action provides much-needed certainty and clarity to America’s farmers and ranchers. It also ensures our emergency response officials are focusing their time and resources on hazardous waste emergencies and not routine animal waste.”
“Our proposed rule would provide enhanced clarity for small and large animal producers and reduce confusion for emergency response officials throughout EPA Region 7, which covers the agricultural Midwest including Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford.
Background on the rule:
- In May 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated EPA’s 2008 regulatory exemption for livestock reporting under EPCRA. Following that court action, the EPA issued guidance stating reporting still does not need to occur from livestock producers based on EPA’s interpretation of EPCRA.
- Today’s proposal requests comment on the EPA’s interpretation that these types of releases are not subject to EPCRA reporting. If finalized, this proposal would maintain consistency between the emergency release notification requirements of EPCRA and CERCLA in accordance with the statutory text and framework of EPCRA.
- The proposed rule reflects the EPA’s interpretation that, based on the relationship between CERCLA and EPCRA reporting requirements, air emissions from animal waste at farms do not need to be reported under EPCRA.