Rules issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency require large livestock farms to file reports on air emissions by first making phone calls to their state and local emergency response authorities, then by filing written notification of emission estimates. The National Pork Producers Council has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the EPA’s decision and timing.
The guidelines for filing written estimates was not issued by EPA until 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 just 30 minutes before the end of the last business day before the filing deadline. As a result, NPPC says, farmers had just 30 minutes to understand and comply with the rules. NPPC also is alleging that EPA violated the due process rights of farmers by failing to develop an adequate system to accept the reports, making compliance with the law impossible.
According to NPPC, EPA told state officials not to accept reports and provided on its Web site false and out-of-data information on filing reports. Farmers that fail to comply will face penalties of $25,000 per day. The rule goes into effect Tuesday, the first day of the Obama administration. NPPC is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to enjoin EPA from enforcing the rule until the agency develops a system that will allow producers to comply.