An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board recently appointed a panel of experts to review the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (NAEMS). This panel will review the study along with other applicable research results and make comment on EPA’s draft air emission estimating methodologies for livestock and poultry farms. Now is an excellent time to model the current status of a livestock or poultry farm’s air emissions, prior to the implementation of any new reporting requirements associated with the NAEMS results. Producers who may be either concerned or interested in the air emissions associated with their farms may want to spend a small amount of time evaluating their operation using the National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT).
NAQSAT is an online program developed to evaluate the odors and air emissions from livestock and poultry operations. The tool is applicable across all types of housing and manure management systems for beef, swine, dairy, turkeys, broilers and layers. Information entered while using the tool remains confidential and there is nothing entered into the program that would identify the inputs or results page back to the producer or location.
Additional advantages to using NAQSAT include:
- Providing a confidential assessment for their farm on the effectiveness of current management practices impacting odor levels and air emissions
- The opportunity to run different alternative scenarios to determine the effectiveness of new emission reduction practices
- Determining the possible unintended consequences of proposed new management practices prior to their installation
Entering the farm’s information into NAQSAT is user friendly and will not require extensive data gathering for the producer, farm manager or farm consultant. After logging into the site and selecting the species of interest, the user is asked a series of questions under eight management categories: animals and housing, feed and water, manure collection and transfer, manure storage, land application, mortalities, on farm roads and perception. When a visual interpretation of the existing or proposed management practices is helpful, pictures are provided to help users select the conditions that best exemplifies the current situation.
After completing an initial analysis of the farm’s current status, additional scenarios may be run to determine the effectiveness of improved or changed management practices.