How can industrial agricultural operations, with emissions that include hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, particulate matter and VOC’s [volatile organic compounds] —not have strict standards for air quality–like other industries?
Our View: Point source pollution from manure lagoons, digesters, and the facilities themselves should be regulated.
CAFOs likely targets for EPA air rules
By Sara Bredesen, Regional Editor | stbrede | 0 comments
“We’re at a turning point, and I think that all of the EPA posturing and state regulations and litigation are starting to come to a head. I would say that within the next five years you will probably see a lot more attention paid to this industry in respect to its air issues,” Palmer said. “I think you’ll see some pretty robust sets of regulatory programs aimed at agriculture, not only CAFOs but more traditional agricultural practices as well.”
“The air-quality issues that are associated with farms are from ammonia generated from manure and as chemical fertilizer; particulate matter in the form of dust and soot; sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde from combustion of biogas; microorganisms; odor; greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide and methane; and a group of compounds called precursor pollutants, Palmer said. Precursor pollutants are regulated compounds on their own, but when they interact in the air with other pollutants, they create other pollutants that are also regulated.”
“EPA is collecting emission factors for the industry while environmental groups are trying to get courts to force regulatory action on agriculture,” Palmer said. “All these things, when they start converging at the same time, create this perfect environment where we start seeing more and more regulation.”