WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Nov. 22 that the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals has extended the deadline for farmers to comply with two statutes—the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).

Farmers have until Jan. 22, 2018, to begin reporting air releases of hazardous substances for animal waste at livestock operations as mandated by the statutes. The Trump administration has been seeking to delay the rule to help farmers better comply with the rules, as well as to develop a more-streamlined reporting form.

“EPA is committed to providing America’s farmers and ranchers – people committed to conserving the land and the environment -- the clarity needed in meeting their reporting obligations required by law,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said.

A 2008 EPA rule had exempted most farms from reporting requirements regarding certain releases mandated by the statutes. On April 11, 2017, however, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated the rule. After a first Trump administration request, the court delayed the decision until Nov. 15, 2017. After a second request, the court delayed the decision until Jan. 22, 2018.

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