New Rules For Animal Producers

A mandate to report livestock emissions takes effect this month.

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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A new livestock emissions reporting rule may soon take effect, Image by Jim Patrico

Many more animal-feeding operations will soon be required to report emissions. At press time, the new requirement was set to begin Jan. 22, 2018. Known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the rule requires emissions from animal-feeding operations of more than 100 pounds per day of either ammonia (NH3) or hydrogen sulfide be reported. These emissions are classified as “hazardous” and “extremely hazardous.”

University of Illinois Extension developed a table to help livestock producers know whether they’ve likely reached reporting thresholds, and the EPA has provided guidance, as well. The agency has also announced livestock producers will be able to report emissions by email.

Illinois Extension’s guidelines list threshold numbers expected to trigger a continuous report requirement under CERCLA. Their guidance uses ammonia as the basis. A partial outline of this guideline indicates the following:

For swine (pull-plug, scrape, flush or shallow pit), head thresholds by operation type are: 1,020 breeding/gestation; 625 farrowing; 5,263 nursery and 1,818 grow-finish. In a deep-pit facility, head thresholds are: 1,923 breeding/gestation; 4,545 farrowing; 21,739 nursery and 2,703 grow-finish.

For broilers and laying hens, depending on removal times and handling systems, threshold numbers range from 26,240 to as many as 196,100 with daily removal. Turkey threshold numbers range from 12,970 to as many as 108,000 in a 21-day brooding operation.

All dairy facilities, under summer conditions, with a minimum head threshold of 1,429, are expected to be required to report.

Beef operations vary widely. A finishing operation with an open lot, based on NH3 loss, could have a threshold as low as 385 or as high as 1,150 head. Cows in confinement range from 670 to 1,960, again based on NH3 loss and barn type. And, calves in confinement vary from 910 head to 2,900 head.

For More Information:

To see the full University of Illinois listing, visit

To link to EPA information on the CERCLA and how to report emissions, visit


Todd Neeley

Todd Neeley
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