The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has responded to a lawsuit by several farm groups challenging a rule over animal feedlot pollution reporting requirements. The Agency is asking the D.C. Circuit Court to throw out the challenges to the rule that exempts some businesses from the requirements. The filing asks the Court to do so because environmentalists and some industry groups opposed to the rule do not have standing to make their challenges in court.
The National Pork Producers Council led the challenge last December, trying to force the EPA to include large farms in the exemptions while environmental groups opposed any elimination of exemptions.
The challenges were to a 2007 EPA rule the D.C. Circuit had originally kicked back to the agency in 2010. Over the years, environmentalists wanted the case revived and the appeals court granted the request last fall. The rule in question exempts all animal feeding operations from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act’s hazardous substance reporting requirements. The Pork Council, in its lawsuit claimed that by exempting only medium and small feedlots from the emergency release reporting requirements, the EPA catered to groups that wanted the information to learn more about emissions from the animal feeding operations so they could further their own agendas.