The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing data collected by the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study to develop improved tools for estimating emissions from animal feeding operations. EPA will examine data from the study, along with additional data it receives, to develop improved methods for estimating emissions from operations that raise swine, dairy cattle and poultry.

“The purpose for the NAEMS study was to provide one source of credible science-based data for EPA to consider and use to establish emission estimating methods for livestock operations,” says Allan Stokes, director, environmental programs, National Pork Board. According to EPA, it anticipates finalizing recommendations in June 2012.

The emissions estimating methods, once established by EPA, can be used to estimate the total of the emissions coming from the animal housing and manure storage facilities at livestock operations.  “Depending on what these totals are estimated to be, EPA may make a determination that it believes further regulation or control of those emissions is warranted,” said Stokes.

Monitoring data from the NAEMS study was sent by Purdue University directly to EPA last fall.  EPA has posted the data on its website. As it develops the estimating methodologies for animal feeding operations, EPA is examining data from the NAEMS data as well as data the agency receives in response to a Call for Information.

“Whether EPA proposes regulations or not, the pork industry will use the NAEMS data to better understand potential air impacts from swine operations,” said Stokes. “The data will be used to provide tools producers can use to advance their ethical commitment to being good stewards of the environment and natural resources.”

The principle question to be answered is whether or not EPA will propose additional regulatory requirements for the control of emissions from certain livestock operations under the Clean Air Act. “Whether EPA proposes regulations or not, the pork industry will continue their proud tradition of being pro-active in adopting sustainable management practices and technologies,” said Stokes.