EPA Proposes Less Reporting on Factory Farm Pollution
<div style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u2/PH2008022502958.jpg" title="factory farm" alt="factory farm" height="195" hspace="3" vspace="3" width="125" /></div>The US Environmental Protection Agency wants to drop rules that require factory farms to report toxic gas emissions, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/25/AR2008022502472_pf.html" target="_blank">according to the Washington Post</a> . The EPA finds that these gases — such as ammonia — can pose a threat to people living and working nearby, but that since local emergency officials don't use the reports, they aren't needed.<br /><br />Several local governments have used the toxic gas reports to bring lawsuits seeking lower emissions from nearby factory farms. The National Association of Clean Air Agencies contends manure-pit fumes (containing hydrogen sulfide and ammonia) have caused at least two dozen deaths in the last three decades.<br /><br />Groups representing large farms, however, contend environmental laws are being misapplied. House Ag Chairman Collin C. Peterson (D-Min) said that "Congress never intended for Superfund to apply to farms, but the judicial system has done just that, threatening the livelihood of farmers and ranchers everywhere."