• Court Vacates “Final Rule” Regarding CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements
  • July 5, 2017 | Author: Jason Richard Gianvecchio
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently vacated a 2008 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that exempted farms from Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) reporting requirements for air releases from animal waste. Waterkeeper Alliance v. Environmental Protection Agency 853 F. 3d 527 (2017). In December 2007, the EPA proposed exempting farms from CERCLA and EPCRA reporting of air releases from animal waste. The impetus for proposal was that the EPA could not “foresee a situation where it would take any future response action as a result of notifications of air releases from animal waste as on-going releases makes an emergency response unnecessary, impractical, and unlikely.” Public comments on the proposal sought information about emissions from the largest farms—Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). CAFOs are farms that confine a relatively large number of animals, usually exceeding 1,000. The “final rule” requires CAFOs to continue reporting air emissions under EPCRA, but not under CERCLA.