National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Vice President Randy Spronk met last week with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to discuss several key environmental issues.

The National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (NAEMS) of emissions from livestock and poultry operations was conducted by Purdue University with EPA oversight.

EPA intends to hold a series of meetings to examine how the agency will interpret the data and the method it will use to convert the data into usable emission factors to help pork producers determine their compliance with federal clean air laws.

EPA’s proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule would mandate large livestock and poultry facilities to submit operational information to EPA.

NPPC expressed concerns that producers will incur substantial legal liability due to the reporting rule, and that in compiling the information the biosecurity of producers’ operations may be compromised.

Furthermore, NPPC believes the rule would provide little or no added benefit to improving manure management or protecting water resources.

NPPC had requested a 60-day extension to the original Dec. 20 deadline for filing comments. Instead, EPA granted a 30-day extension to the comment period, until Jan. 19, 2012.

For more information on these EPA activities, go to http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/afo/aforule.cfm.