Court Orders EPA to Close Loophole, Factory Farms Required to Report Toxic Pollution
Court Orders EPA to Close Loophole, Factory Farms Required to Report Toxic Pollution.
The DC Circuit Court ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday to close a loophole that has allowed hazardous substances released into the environment by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to go unreported.
But the public cannot protect itself from these hazardous substances if CAFOs aren’t required to report their releases to the public.
CAFOs are large-scale livestock facilities that confine large numbers of animals in relatively small spaces.
This waste is known to release high levels of toxic pollutants like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide into the environment.
The court’s decision closes a loophole that exempted CAFOs from the same pollutant reporting required of other industries to ensure public safety.
"People have a right to know if CAFOs are releasing hazardous substances that can pose serious risks of illness or death into the air near their homes, schools, businesses and communities," said Kelly Foster, senior attorney for Waterkeeper Alliance.
Nearly three-quarters of the nation’s ammonia air pollution come from CAFOs.
This decision forces these operations to be transparent about their environmental impact," said Paige Tomaselli of the Center for Food Safety.
"Animal factories force billions of animals to suffer dangerously high levels of toxic air pollution day after day for their entire lives," said Humane Society of The United States’ Chief Counsel Jonathan Lovvorn.