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Court Grants Epa Delay on Animal Waste Emissions Reporting

A federal court granted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a victory Thursday, allowing regulators to give U.S. livestock producers more time to comply with a mandate on reporting emissions from animal waste.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals will give farms and animal producers until at least May 1 to begin reporting emissions — mostly ammonia and hydrogen sulfide — emitted by animal waste.

In a Jan 19 motion, the EPA argued that farmers were not yet ready to meet the requirements of the mandate which was scheduled to take effect Jan 22.

The delay follows a court decision in April that the EPA must force farms to report air pollution for animal waste emissions. The decision invalidated a previous policy under then-President George W. Bush that exempted most farms from such reporting requirements.

Most facilities are required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to report those emissions to federal, state and local authorities.

But the EPA, under Bush, decided that it could not do anything to reduce or mitigate emissions from animal waste and that requiring reporting would not be useful.

The court is expected to issue the mandate three months from now. No reporting is necessary until the mandate is issued.

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