A six-state study monitoring air quality near swine and poultry facilities will help in the search for ways to reduce emissions.
Steve Hoff, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, presented the results from five of the states involved in the study on June 22 at a meeting of the Air and Waste Management Association in Minneapolis. A $2.2 million USDA Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems grant financed the project.
"This research is the first step in providing producers, consultants, regulators and the public with accurate information on emission levels," says Hoff. "The emission levels will provide a basis to compare technologies aimed at reducing odors, gases and particles emitted from animal facilities."
Emissions sampling began Oct. 1, 2002 and continued through March 2004. Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulates and carbon dioxide emissions were monitored continuously. Odors emitted also were sampled, and continuous weather monitoring was done.
Hoff says emissions data collected in
Hoff adds there are at least three different sets of air quality regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency that could have an impact on livestock facility emissions. One is the Clean Air Act. "But the results are showing our swine production operations are nowhere close to violating the Clean Air Act," he notes.
Two other EPA programs are of greater concern - the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act. CERCLA established guidelines and procedures to respond to releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. EPCRA is designed to help local communities protect public health, safety and the environment from chemical hazards.
Both CERCLA and EPCRA have lower proposed thresholds for ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions than the Clean Air Act. The
Emissions from six types of animal confinement facilities were collected as part of this study. A poultry layer facility in
Koziel says the
The difference is that the
"I think we have good emissions numbers now for swine finishing facilities with deep pits," says Hoff. "But the emissions that can be expected from outdoor manure storage units in addition to production barns still is unclear."
Another project is underway with
The idea behind all this monitoring is to gather baseline information that can be used to evaluate differences in emissions due to geographical region, season of the year, time of day, building design, growth cycle of the animals and building management. Also, the EPA plans to establish new regulatory levels for emissions, once additional monitoring is complete.