IN THE NEWS: Joe works to exempt farmers from emission reporting rule EPA says it doesn’t even need
Hoosier farmers are noticing Joe Donnelly’s hard work to cut red tape and prevent them from having to report overbearing data to the EPA that the agency itself even says it doesn’t need.
Joe’s FARM Act would exempt small dairy, hog and poultry farmers from having to report air emissions, a requirement stemming in part from the same massive law dating back to 1980 that governs Superfund sites.
Even though an EPA rule excused small farmers from the reporting requirement, it was held up by an April 2017 court ruling, which could cost more than $60 million over ten years. Joe’s commonsense, bipartisan legislation will end farmers’ legal limbo so they can worry about feeding the world, not filing paperwork.
From CNHI News Indiana: Blowing hot air
The EPA says it's useless. Farm advocates call it burdensome. But a court has ordered the data be reported anyway.
Come May 1, dairy, hog and poultry farmers may have to start reporting air emissions data to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the EPA has said it neither needs nor wants. Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly and other lawmakers have introduced a bill to permanently exempt such farms from that reporting requirement.
But the EPA doesn't believe there is anything practical that federal officials should do in response to emissions from animal feeding operations, like dairy or hog farms. In a rule the agency created in 2008, it stopped requiring small farmers to report air emissions, though CAFOs -- concentrated animal feeding operations, such as dairy farms with 700 or more cows -- still had to report under EPCRA.
But since Congressional lawmakers including Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly have introduced a bill to permanently exempt farmers from CERCLA reporting requirements -- the Fair Agriculture Reporting Method, or FARM Act -- Andy Dague says he doesn't intend to stress about it.