The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is reviewing the allegations made by Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on Wednesday that some 51 swine facilities associated with six pork production companies had “unreported releases of hazardous pollutant ammonia.”

HSUS announced a letter of intent to sue in accord with the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

As it conducts its review of HSUS allegations, NPPC released this statement:

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still evaluating air emissions data gathered from livestock and poultry operations to develop a better understanding of emissions rates, which vary considerably from farm to farm. This will allow the agency to better apply environmental laws to these complex biological systems.

“It is important to point out that HSUS is not alleging environmental harm but rather paperwork violations of EPA’s emissions reporting rule. Additionally, it is worth noting that when the reporting rule went into effect in 2009 there was widespread confusion about it, with some states refusing to accept reports, one state claiming EPA notices to report emissions were an Internet hoax and EPA’s Region 4 office initially telling producers and states there was no reporting requirement.

“HSUS’s action obviously is another scare tactic to get NPPC to back off its opposition to the HSUS Egg Bill and to the animal-rights group’s truth-twisting campaign against family farmers who use individual sow housing. (In April, HSUS threatened NPPC with a meritless Federal Trade Commission complaint.)

“In addition to not telling the truth about how hog farmers raise and care for their animals, HSUS now is lying about hog farmers' stewardship of the environment, which is exemplary.

“We also wonder why a so-called animal welfare group is sticking its nose in environmental issues.”