Marshall, Fischer Introduce Bill to Stop Burdensome Ag Odor-Emissions Reporting Requirement
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, alongside Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, recently introduced legislation to stop a burdensome reporting requirement on family farmers and ranchers by President Biden’s Environment Protection Agency (EPA). The legislation would clarify that the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) is not intended to regulate manure odors, which pose no threat to public safety. It would also ensure that emergency first responders are not inundated with unnecessary reporting.
“Biden’s war on American agriculture continues as they push animal emissions reporting on producers through the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. Forcing the agriculture industry to report these emissions would only inundate first responders with useless information hindering their ability to respond to emergencies,” said Senator Marshall. “I strongly support this legislation clarifying that naturally occurring, low-level livestock emissions are not the type of information needed, nor useful, to first responders. Keep in mind, livestock emissions represent less than 4% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.”
“The last thing producers need are more government regulations. And first responders, who deal with real public safety emergencies every day, don’t need to be inundated with irrelevant reports. My bill would make permanent the previous administration’s reporting exemption under EPCRA for animal waste emissions. Rural America doesn’t need Washington bureaucrats pushing through more rules that burden producers and provide no value to local emergency planning commissions,” said Senator Fischer.
The legislation has been endorsed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, United Egg Producers, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council, and National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials (NASTTPO).
“The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act is an important tool in keeping communities safe in times of emergency, but it was never designed to require farmers to report the normal odors of a farm to first responders. We appreciate Sen. Fischer for her work to formally exempt farms from EPCRA, which will enable authorities to focus on responding to real disasters when they threaten neighborhoods,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director Courtney Briggs.
“United Egg Producers is very grateful to Senator Fischer for leading this legislative effort to eliminate a reporting requirement that would impose on egg producers a pointless burden that serves no legitimate purpose and would only create risk and liabilities,” said United Egg Producers President Chad Gregory.
“Routine emissions from farms do not constitute an emergency. Animal rights extremists’ efforts requiring farmers to overwhelm local first responders with unnecessary reports is dangerous. Burdening emergency response with false alarms can pull valuable resources away from a real crisis. America’s pork producers applaud Senator Fischer for bringing common sense to this long-running debate,” said National Pork Producers Council CEO Bryan Humphries.
“The National Turkey Federation (NTF) commends Senator Fischer for introducing a bill to make clear once and for all that air releases from animal manure are exempt from reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). Previous administrations and Congresses believed they had settled this matter, first in 2009 and again five years ago. Congress should approve Senator Fischer’s bill swiftly so that this issue finally is resolved,” said National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger.
“NASTTPO over the past several years has had the opportunity to work with various animal agriculture associations on emergency preparedness related rulemaking programs at EPA. These experiences have taught us that the most important thing to LEPCs and first responders is not detailed regulatory requirements for a facility’s relationship to these groups, but rather the simple act of open dialog and coordination. That cannot be regulated, but rather must be nurtured through the goodwill of facilities, emergency planner and responders all of whom wish to improve community safety,” said Timothy Gablehouse, Past President/Director of Government Affairs at the National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials (NASTTPO).
In addition to Senators Marshall and Fischer, the legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
Click here to read the text of the bill.