EPA issues swine air emissions estimates

August 27, 2020

U.S. EPA has taken a significant step to issuing air emissions estimation methodologies (emissions factors) for animal agriculture using the 2007-2010 National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (NAEMS) data. Animal agriculture groups, including the American Egg Board, funded this study.

On August 20, EPA posted the first draft of “swine” emissions factors, a 431 page document that reviews all aspects of the development of these factors. Next, EPA plans to issue draft factors for poultry species, including layers, followed by dairy factors and then draft factors for all species’ emissions of volatile organic compounds. The poultry emissions factors were to be issued in draft in November, but  EPA has said they will be delayed.

Although there are several questions about the applicability of these 2007-2010 data to today’s animal operations, this is the best data that EPA has. For legal and policy reasons, EPA is committed to using the data to complete the emissions factors process. That process is extensive and will require a great deal of work and time by EPA. Once all of the draft factors have been released, EPA will conduct a stakeholder review process. The final emissions factors are expected to be issued sometime in 2022.

These emissions factors will be an important resource used by federal and state air regulators as they address layer farms. UEP has been deeply involved in this process from the very beginning and remains fully engaged now. The depth and quality of EPA’s draft swine factors document signal EPA’s serious commitment to completing all the species’ emissions factors. Still, there may be delays if intervening events significantly affect EPA’s progress.