CERCLA Reporting Mandate Delayed … Again

November 23, 2017

January 22, 2018, is the new effective date for reporting of air emissions under CERCLA*. On November 22, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals approved the request of the Environmental Production Agency (EPA) to delay the effective date of the court’s April 2017 decision that will require tens of thousands of animal agriculture operations to report air emissions under CERCLA. The recent court approval means no producer is required to report continuous releases of ammonia from their animals’ manure until January 22, 2018 (at the earliest); further delays are possible.

The federal EPA requested the delay to allow time for the agency to properly prepare for the large volume of reports they anticipate receiving and to help animal operations fully prepare to submit reports. Producers that had reported in advance of the previous deadline, November 15, encountered numerous and significant problems in acceptance and response from federal agencies. Further delays in the effective date of this decision are possible while the court addresses the environmental group’s legal challenge to the EPA guidance, particularly EPA’s interpretation that manure emissions are not subject to EPCRA* reporting. Any producer that has already submitted an initial CERCLA report to the National Response Center is still obliged to submit their written report to the U.S. EPA Regional Office within 30 days of the initial report. As always, please contact UEP if you have any questions about these matters, or if you have been sent a citizen’s enforcement 60-Day Notice of Intent (NOI) to be sued for failure to report emissions under either CERCLA or EPCRA.

*CERCLA = Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; EPCRA Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act