NPPC suing the EPA
January 26, 2009 by National Pork Producers Council
January 26, 2009, Washington, DC – The National Pork Producers Council
recently filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to require livestock farms
to file reports under the Environmental Protection and Community Right
To Know Act (EPCRA).
January 26, 2009, Washington, DC – The National Pork Producers Council recently filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to require livestock farms to file reports under the Environmental Protection and Community Right To Know Act (EPCRA).
The NPPC also is alleging the EPA violated the due process rights of farmers by failing to develop an adequate system to accept the reports, making compliance with the law impossible.
Under a rulemaking issued Dec. 18, the EPA decided that large livestock farms would be required 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 emissions estimates. Farms that fail to comply will face penalties of $25,000 per day. The rule goes into effect Jan. 20, 2009, the first day of the Obama administration.
“In sticking the agricultural community with this unworkable rule, the EPA not only failed to provide any guidance to farmers on compliance with the new regulation or develop an adequate system to handle the volume of reports that would be filed, but it actively engaged in efforts that undermined the ability of farmers to comply with this new, stringent rule,” said NPPC president Bryan Black, a pork producer from Canal Winchester, Ohio.
Among those efforts, the EPA told state officials not to accept reports and provided on its website false and out-of-date information on filing reports. Additionally, the agency did not issue guidance for complying with the rule until 4:30 p.m. Jan. 16 – the last business day before the filing deadline – giving America’s 67,000 pork producers and hundreds of thousands of other livestock farmers only 30 minutes to receive, read and interpret the guidance and to develop and file the appropriate emissions report.
In the lawsuit it filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the NPPC is challenging the EPA’s decision to exclude livestock operations from the EPCRA agriculture exemption and asking the court to enjoin the EPA from enforcing the rule until the agency develops a system that will allow producers to comply.
Print this page