Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement [August 18, 2014] [open pdf - 276KB]
"From an environmental quality standpoint, much of the interest in animal agriculture has focused on impacts on water resources, because animal waste, if not properly managed, can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. A more recent issue is the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution. AFOs can affect air quality through emissions of gases such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants, and odor. These pollutants and compounds have a number of environmental and human health effects. Agricultural operations that emit large quantities of air pollutants may be subject to Clean Air Act (CAA) regulation and permits. Further, some livestock operations also may be regulated under the release reporting requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund, or CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Questions about the applicability of these laws to livestock and poultry operations have been controversial and have drawn congressional attention."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32947