CERCLA Legislative Effort Continues, Outlook Positive but Not Certain

March 8, 2018

The Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act, a bill that would remove the requirement that air emissions from manure be reported to federal authorities from CERCLA (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act), has been introduced in the Senate as S. 2421.  Senators Deb Fischer and Joe Donnelly lead a large bipartisan group of cosponsors who support the bill.

In the House, Congressmen Billy Long and Jim Costa are actively assembling a bipartisan group of cosponsors for a similar bill that is titled the Agricultural Certainty for Reporting Emissions (ACRE) Act.  This bill should be introduced in the next seven to ten days.  House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Conway, and Ranking Member, Peterson, are both supporting the ACRE Act.

The strong bipartisan support for a policy bill is unprecedented today and gives passage of this legislation a strong chance.  But passage is far from certain, given what it takes to secure floor time in both the Senate and House.  Also, opposition to the bill is expected in the Senate despite its bipartisan support.

Tom Hebert, UEP’s Environmental Consultant is working with the other livestock and poultry groups in D.C. to determine if this legislation can be included in the package of measures expected to be moved along with the upcoming Omnibus 2018 Appropriations bill.  Congress will be working on this legislation over the next two weeks with a deadline at the end of March.

The CERCLA reporting mandate that resulted from last year’s D.C. Circuit Court decision is currently scheduled to take effect on May 1, unless the court again decides to extend the waiting period.

The UEP Staff will continue to provide updates.  Please contact UEP Staff or Tom Hebert (tom.hebert@bayardridge.com) if you have any questions.