Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues [March 11, 2014] [open pdf - 254KB]
From the Summary: "The animal sector of agriculture has undergone major changes in the last several decades: organizational changes within the industry to enhance economic efficiency have resulted in larger confined production facilities that often are geographically concentrated. These changes, in turn, have given rise to concerns over the management of animal wastes and potential impacts on environmental quality. Federal environmental law does not regulate all agricultural activities, but certain large animal feeding operations (AFOs) where animals are housed and raised in confinement are subject to regulation. The issue of applicability of these laws to livestock and poultry operations-- especially the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, the Superfund law) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)--has been controversial and has drawn congressional attention. Both Superfund and EPCRA have reporting requirements that are triggered when specified quantities of certain substances are released to the environment. In addition, Superfund authorizes federal cleanup of releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants and imposes strict liability for cleanup and injuries to natural resources from releases of hazardous substances."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33691