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January 20, 2009   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
(334) 613-4187
January 20, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) must report the potential release of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide by Jan. 20 or face fines, according to a rule finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The rule, which has been challenged in court by the National Pork Producers Council, was issued Dec. 18, but the EPA did not issue guidance for complying with the rule until 4:30 p.m. Jan. 16.

The rule exempts smaller poultry and livestock operations but requires larger farms to file mandatory reports on air emissions by first making phone calls to their state and local emergency response authorities, then by filing a written notification of the emission estimates within 30 days. Farmers affected by the rule are those that have the potential to release 100 pounds of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide within any 24-hour period.

Exempt from the rule are dairy farms with fewer than 700 mature cows; beef cattle operations with fewer than 1,000 head; pork producers with fewer than 2,500 swine of 55 pounds or more; poultry operations with fewer than 125,000 broilers; laying operations with fewer than 30,000 hens, if the farm uses a liquid manure handling; and laying operations of fewer than 82,000 hens, if the farm uses dry manure handling.

According to EPA, farms that exceed these exemption levels must report or face penalties of $25,000 per day.

To help producers comply with the new rule, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers along with step-by-step guidelines on how to report. Farmers must place a phone call to both their local emergency response authority and to John Bibb at ADEM. His number is (334) 260-2704. The step-by-step include a sample script farmers can use when reporting to local and state authorities.

The ADEM document may be downloaded by clicking the link below. The Adobe Acrobat PDF document also includes the EPA form and local emergency response contact information.

For more information, contact Alabama Farmers Federation Pork, Poultry and Dairy Director Guy Hall at (334) 612-5181 or ghall@alfafarmers.org.

ADEM Reporting FAQs, Guidelines

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