EPA Proposes Less Reporting on Factory Farm Pollution
The US Environmental Protection Agency wants to drop rules that require factory farms to report toxic gas emissions, according to the Washington Post . 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.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.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."