CAST Paper Examines Agricultural Air Issues

New paper goes beyond generalizations and accusations.

Published on: May 6, 2011

In the past most concerns and regulations related to animal agriculture were focused on water quality. However in the past two decades air quality has gained a lot of attention and caused more attention to be brought to bear on enforcing air quality regulations.

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology formed a task force to examine air issues and agriculture. Led by Dr. Larry Jacobson, Professor and Extension Engineer at the University of Minnesota, a team of experts from six universities examined a large amount of data and focused their information and conclusions around the key livestock areas: swine, poultry, dairy, and beef. The resulting paper, Air Issues Associated with Animal Agriculture: A North American Perspective, is valuable for stakeholders, the public, and policymakers as they deal with the challenges inherent with something so basic and important: air quality.

In the paper, the task force analyzes several issues from a science-based approach. Among the issues that were examined are greenhouse gas emissions, the logistics of manure storage facilities, the monitoring of emissions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, economic implications and technologies and practices to mitigate and manage air quality.

The goal is to use science-based information to help all stakeholders involved in animal production protect the environment and public health in a proactive manner and avoid costly litigation to solve nuisance suits or enforce regulations. This paper examines ways to help all stakeholders involved in animal production as they strive to preserve resources and maintain the quality of life.

The study found that regulation of air emissions from animal production at the federal, state, and even local level has been steadily increasing during the past 20 years, creating uncertainty for pro­ducers and the industries. Compliance to existing and new regulations is being met through a combination of new mitigation technologies and management practices depending on the animal species, location of the production operations, and economics of the industry.

To view the entire CAST paper, use the link below.

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