Regulating What Can't Be Measured: Reviewing the Current State of Animal Agriculture's Air Emissions Regulation Post-Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA
Vermont Journal of Environmental Law
While the Omnibus Bill may now provide CAFOs with a shield from reporting requirements, this article reviews the history behind production agriculture’s air emissions regulation challenges and why this issue still matters moving forward. Part I provides an overview of today’s modern animal agricultural industry, looking at how CAFOs have grown in size in recent years and the potential air pollution issues that stem from that growth. Part II analyzes the current state of federal air emissions regulations impacting CAFOs, focusing on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Part III examines the EPA’s final rule from 2008 that exempted CAFOs from the reporting requirements under CERCLA, and the Agency’s reasons for this exemption. Part IV reviews Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit’s recent decision that vacated the EPA’s 2008 final rule and requires CAFOs to comply with the reporting requirements under both CERCLA and EPCRA. Part V discusses the aftermath of the Waterkeeper Alliance decision, the EPA’s attempt at providing guidance for the agriculture industry to comply with the rule, and Congress’s eleventh hour action that provides CAFOs with an exemption from reporting. Finally, Part VI considers the questions and options moving forward for the agriculture industry in the wake of these air emissions decisions.
Vermont Law School
Regulating What Can't Be Measured: Reviewing the Current State of Animal Agriculture's Air Emissions Regulation Post-Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA,
Vt. J. Envtl. L.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/student-scholarship/10