Air Emissions Consent Agreement

What’s the Background?

A 2002 report by the National Academy of Sciences found that scientifically credible methodologies for estimating emissions from animal feeding operations (AFOs) needed to be developed. Over the subsequent three years, EPA met with agricultural industry representatives, state and local government officials, environmental organizations, and citizen groups to develop a way to determine if AFOs were in violation of clean air laws and to what extent while recommending best practices to control industrywide emissions.

In January 2005, EPA announced the Air Emissions Consent Agreement to address emissions from AFOs. Nearly 2,600 concentrated animal feeding operations in 42 states, including 1,856 hog operations, signed the voluntary agreement, which included an air emissions monitoring study, begun of 20 representational operations, 11 of which produced hogs. EPA is still developing methodologies for using data from the study to set emissions standards for farms.

Why Does It Matter to Our Producers?

The Air Emissions Consent Agreement is a landmark pact between the livestock sector and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It included a two-year benchmark study of livestock and poultry operation air emissions. The study’s findings allow EPA to set science-based emissions standards for farms. The agreement also provided legal protections for producers from past violations if they met the requirements of the agreement and complied with its regulatory policies.

NPPC worked for pork producers and other industries to negotiate Air Emissions Consent Agreement with EPA.

NPPC worked on behalf of pork producers and with representatives of other industries to negotiate the Air Emissions Consent Agreement with EPA. The agreement was an innovative, science-based approach to help determine whether livestock and poultry operations are in compliance with air emissions regulations. The pork industry helped design and pay for the pork portion of the emissions study, using Checkoff funds provided by the National Pork Board.