There is now a second extention to the Air Emissions Consent Agreement signup deadline.
Environmental Protection Agency officials just announced they are extending the signup period to July 29, 2005, in order to provide more time for livestock and poultry producers to "make informed decisions about participation." The previous deadline was July 1.
The deadline extension not only gives producers more time to determine their participation status, but also to complete the paperwork.
EPA has not changed the terms of the agreement since it was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 31, 2005. This agreement is part of the EPA's ongoing effort to minimize air emissions from livestock operations and to ensure that livestock producers comply with the Clean Air Act and other laws. Of significance is the fact that the program includes a two-year research program to assess and establish air-emission compliance thresholds for various livestock and poultry facilities. The National Pork Board is providing $6 million toward the pork-industry portion.
The compliance program is a one-time, voluntary opportunity for livestock and poultry producers. In return for their participation, producers receive legal protection from any unknown past air-emissions violations– for which there are no know thresholds.
Producers who have already signed the agreement and submitted it to EPA do not have to do anything else. Signed agreements must be postmarked to EPA by July 29, 2005.
Many resources are available for producers to explain the air-emisions agreement and determine participation in the program. The National Pork Producers Council (www.nppc.org) and National Pork Board (www.porkboard.org) Web sites both have information about the program. Land-grant universities, the EPA Web site and state EPA offices and Web sites carry information.
Indiana Pork Advocacy Coalition has recently posted an audio file featuring a panel of experts answering questions about the agreement. Producers can access the information and listen to the audio file at the Web site www.porkvoice.com.
Indiana Pork Advocacy Coalition, EPA, Pork magazine