UEP members visit with EPA staff on priority environmental issues

May 31, 2024

While in Washington, UEP's Environment and Sustainability Committee members and staff met with EPA on priority environmental issues facing the egg industry. EPA was represented in the meeting by the Agricultural Advisor, career staff, and career staff from the Office of Air & Radiation, Office of Water, and Office of Pesticide Programs.

Regarding the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study, EPA staff shared that the draft Emissions Estimation Methods are expected to be released for public comment in the next month or so. This will be followed by the release of draft guidance in the later summer or early fall, allowing ample time for UEP members to review and provide feedback.

Concerning water issues, EPA is kicking off the first meeting of the Animal Agriculture Water Quality Subcommittee of the Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee on Thursday and Friday of this week in Washington. That effort is expected to continue over the next 12 to 18 months. In addition, EPA staff is also working on a parallel path to update the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Effluent Limitation Guidelines. That effort is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, and data will be reviewed in the following areas:  1) Are there discharges and under what circumstances?; 2) Is manure land-applied at agronomic rates?; and 3) What is the effectiveness of the current EPA rule implementation?

On the topic of rodenticide issues, EPA staff is currently reviewing the approximately 2,500 public comments received on the Biological Evaluation. The final decision is expected to be reached by November 2024. Importantly, EPA expressed openness to alternative ideas from the egg industry on how to register rodenticide products while ensuring the protection of threatened or endangered species. This is a significant opportunity for UEP members to contribute to the ongoing discussion and influence the final decision.

Overall, the meeting was an excellent opportunity for individual egg producers to hear firsthand how EPA is considering moving forward on various issues, and how UEP members can continue to be engaged. More importantly, the meeting provided a powerful opportunity for EPA to hear directly from individual egg producers on the impact of these regulatory decisions on their day-to-day operations. If you have additional questions, please contact Lauren Lurkins or Tom Hebert.