Notice of Availability of a Petition for Exemption From EPCRA and CERCLA Reporting Requirements for Ammonia From Poultry Operations, 76452-76454 [E5-7869]

Download as PDF bjneal on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES 76452 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 247 / Tuesday, December 27, 2005 / Notices SAB Arsenic Review Panel to discuss its draft report, Advisory on EPA’s Assessments of Carcinogenic Effects of Organic and Inorganic Arsenic. DATES: The date for the teleconference is January 24, 2006, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern time. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Members of the public who wish to obtain the teleconference call-in number and access code to participate in the teleconference may contact Mr. Thomas O. Miller, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), by telephone at (202) 343–9982 or e-mail at miller.tom@epa.gov. General information about the SAB, as well as any updates concerning the teleconference announced in this notice, may be found on the SAB Web Site at: http://www.epa.gov/sab. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92–463, notice is hereby given that the SAB Arsenic Review Panel will hold a public teleconference on the date and time provided above. The purpose of this teleconference is for the Panel members to discuss the draft report, Advisory on EPA’s Assessments of Carcinogenic Effects of Organic and Inorganic Arsenic. Background on this issue was provided in two Federal Register notices published on February 23, 2005 (70 FR 8803–8804) and July 26, 2005 (70 FR 43144–43145). In addition, the teleconference of the Panel originally scheduled for December 5, 2005 was postponed and noticed in the Federal Register on December, 2, 2005 (70 FR 72116). Human exposure to arsenic compounds can occur through various environmental media by their use as pesticides (e.g., dessicants/defoliants, wood preservatives) or from industrial wastes. EPA regulates environmental exposure to arsenic compounds pursuant to requirements of several laws (e.g., the Safe Drinking Water Act; the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act; and the Food Quality Protection Act). EPA asked the SAB to provide advice on scientific issues underlying the Agency’s assessments of the carcinogenic potential of arsenic compounds. In response to EPA’s request, the SAB Staff Office formed an Ad Hoc Panel to review relevant background data and to consider the underlying scientific questions. The Panel drafted an advisory report to respond to the EPA charge. That draft report will be the focus of the January 24, 2006 public teleconference announced in this notice. Availability of Meeting Materials: A roster of the Panel members, the VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:54 Dec 23, 2005 Jkt 208001 teleconference agenda, the charge to the Panel, and the Panel’s draft report will be posted on the SAB Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/sab/panels/ arsenic_review_panel.htm, prior to the teleconference. EPA’s Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic and related background information on inorganic arsenic may be found at: http:// www.epa.gov/waterscience/sab. The technical contact for the above information on inorganic arsenic is Dr. Elizabeth Doyle, (202) 566–0056, of the Office of Water. EPA’s assessment for organic arsenic, Science Issue Paper: Cancer Mode of Action of Cacodylic Acid (Dimethylarsinic Acid, DMAV and Recommendations for Dose Response Extrapolation and other related background information on organic arsenic may be found at: http:// www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reregistration/ cacodylic_acid. The technical contact for the above information on organic arsenic is Dr. Anna Lowit, (703) 308– 4135, of the Office of Pesticide Programs. Procedures for Providing Public Input: Interested members of the public may submit relevant written or oral information for the SAB Panel to consider during the advisory process. Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation at a public teleconference will be limited to three minutes per speaker with no more than a total of fifteen minutes for all speakers. Interested parties should contact the DFO, contact information provided above, in writing via e-mail by January 17, 2006, to be placed on the public speaker list for the teleconference. Written Statements: Written statements should be received in the SAB Staff Office by January 17, 2006, so that the information may be made available to the Panel for their consideration. Written statements should be supplied to the DFO in the following formats: One hard copy with original signature, and one electronic copy via e-mail (acceptable file format: Adobe Acrobat, WordPerfect, Word, or Rich Text files in IBM–PC/Windows 98/2000/XP format). Meeting Accommodations: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact the DFO, contact information provided above. To request accommodation of a disability, please contact the DFO, preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: December 20, 2005. Richard Albores, Acting Director EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office. [FR Doc. E5–7850 Filed 12–23–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–SFUND–2005–0013; FRL–8015–4] Notice of Availability of a Petition for Exemption From EPCRA and CERCLA Reporting Requirements for Ammonia From Poultry Operations Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of data availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of a Petition for Exemption from EPCRA and CERCLA Reporting Requirements for Ammonia from Poultry Operations that was submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency on August 5, 2005 by the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and U.S. Poultry and Egg Association as nonprofit member organizations that represent the majority of broiler and turkey producers across the country. This document is being made available so that the public will have the opportunity to provide relevant data regarding this petition. EPA, in accordance with its mission to protect human health and the environment, will consider the impacts of human health and the environment in its decision whether to grant or deny this petition. DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 27, 2006. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– SFUND–2005–0013, by one of the following methods: • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • E-mail: superfund.docket@epa.gov. • Fax: 202–566–0224. • Mail: Superfund Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 5202T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. • Hand Delivery: Public Reading Room, Room B102, EPA West Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–SFUND–2005– 0013. EPA’s policy is that all comments E:\FR\FM\27DEN1.SGM 27DEN1 bjneal on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 247 / Tuesday, December 27, 2005 / Notices received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http:// www.regulations.gov. The http:// www.regulations.gov Web site is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA’s public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http:// www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm. ‘‘For additional instructions on submitting comments, go to Unit III.A of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http:// www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Superfund Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566–1744, and the telephone number for the Superfund Docket is (202) 566–0276). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:54 Dec 23, 2005 Jkt 208001 I. General Information A. Interested Entities Type of entity Examples of interested entities Industry .......... Poultry Industry, Owners/Operators of animal production operations. Sierra Club, Environmental Integrity Project, Local Citizen Groups. State and Tribal Emergency Response Commissions, and Local Emergency Planning Committees. National Response Center, Regional Environmental Protection Agency Offices. Environmental and Citizen Groups. State/Local/ Tribal Government. Federal ........... This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be interested in this petition. This table lists the types of entities that EPA is now aware could potentially be interested in this petition. Other types of entities not listed in the table may also be interested. B. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA? You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your comments: 1. Explain your views as clearly as possible. 2. Describe any assumptions that you used. 3. Provide any technical information and/or data you used that support your views. 4. If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you arrived at your estimate. 5. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns. 6. Offer alternatives. 7. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified. 8. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket identification number in the subject line on the first page of your response. It would also be helpful if you provided the name, date, and Federal Register citation related to your comments. II. Background The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) section 103(a) requires that any person in charge of a facility notify the National Response Center (NRC), as soon as he has knowledge, of the release of a hazardous substance from that facility in quantities equal to or greater than those determined under section 102(b) of CERCLA. Those PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76453 quantities are called the Reportable Quantities or RQs. Similarly, EPCRA section 304(a) requires that the local emergency planning committee (LEPC) for any area likely to be affected, and the State emergency response commission (SERC) of any State likely to be affected by the release of an extremely hazardous substance listed under EPCRA Section 302 also be notified. Neither CERCLA nor EPCRA limit the industry or commercial sectors that need to report; therefore any facility releasing more than an RQ must report. With respect to poultry operations, the CERCLA hazardous and EPCRA extremely hazardous substance most likely to trigger an RQ is ammonia at 100 pounds per 24 hours. Ammonia may be used at a farm as fertilizer and thus, is stored in tanks and can be released. However, at poultry operations, another likely release source of ammonia is from the barns that contain poultry litter (bedding material that is combined with deposited manure). Hydrogen sulfide is also a CERCLA hazardous and EPCRA extremely hazardous substance, with an RQ at 100 pounds per 24 hours, which may be emitted from animal agricultural operations. However, the petition is silent on hydrogen sulfide. On August 5, 2005, the Agency received the subject petition titled, ‘‘Petition for Exemption from EPCRA and CERCLA Reporting Requirements for Ammonia from Poultry Operations.’’ III. Summary of Today’s Action A. What Is the Agency Asking From the Public? The Agency believes the petition raises important issues that require a scientifically-sound basis in order to make a reasoned decision. The Agency’s Office of Science Policy includes on its Web site, http://www.epa.gov/osp/ science.htm, a statement that, ‘‘[s]cience provides the foundation for credible decision-making. Only through adequate knowledge about the risks to human health and ecosystems, and innovative solutions to prevent pollution and reduce risk, can we continue to enjoy a high quality life. With a better understanding of environmental risks to people and ecosystems, EPA can target the hazards that pose the greatest risks and anticipate environmental problems before they reach a critical level.’’ It is appropriate, based on this policy, that the Agency seeks relevant data so that it can make a science-based decision regarding this petition. As a result the Agency is requesting the public to submit any relevant data E:\FR\FM\27DEN1.SGM 27DEN1 76454 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 247 / Tuesday, December 27, 2005 / Notices bjneal on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES on the impact of ammonia emissions on public health and the environment from poultry operations. The Agency is also interested in hearing from State Emergency Planning Commissions (SERC) and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) about the usefulness of release reports that are required under EPCRA and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 355—Emergency Planning and Notification). B. What Efforts Are the Agency Currently Pursuing To Evaluate Emissions From Poultry Operations? Currently, the Agency does not have any reliable data regarding emissions from the poultry operations industry that it could use to properly evaluate this petition; however, the Agency is currently evaluating applications from the animal agricultural industry for participation in the Agency’s Animal Feeding Operations (AFO)/Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) that will enable the Agency to collect emissions data from the industry. On January 31, 2005, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register (70 FR 4958) offering animal agricultural operations an opportunity to sign the voluntary Consent Agreement, which among other things establishes a monitoring study for emissions at such operations. The need for the monitoring study was based on a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review and evaluation of EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s scientific basis for estimating emissions of various air pollutants from AFOs. The NAS issued a final report in February, 2003 concluding that scientifically sound and practical protocols for measuring air emissions from AFOs needed to be developed. The NAS also found that existing methodologies for estimating air emissions from AFOs are generally inadequate because of the limited data and site specific factors on which they are based. In response to the 2003 NAS report, EPA began revising the conceptual enforcement agreement to specifically address the data and emission-estimating methodology needs, thus beginning to address the needs cited by the NAS, and determining AFO regulatory responsibility under the CAA, CERCLA, and EPCRA. This resulting monitoring study will lead to the development of methodologies for estimating emissions from AFOs and will allow Respondents to determine and comply with their regulatory responsibilities under the CAA, CERCLA, and EPCRA. Once applicable emission-estimating methodologies have been published by VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:54 Dec 23, 2005 Jkt 208001 EPA, the liability release in the proposed Agreement is contingent on the Respondent certifying that it is in compliance with all relevant requirements of the CAA, CERCLA, and EPCRA. In return, Respondents receive a release and covenant not to sue for the specific violations identified by applying the relevant emissionsestimating methodologies as long as the participating animal agricultural operations comply with all of their obligations under the Agreement. The AFO Air Compliance Agreement is an important part of EPA’s strategy to address air emissions from AFOs. In addition to resolving the compliance status of AFOs under the relevant statutes, it will provide critical data that will allow EPA to quantify emissions coming from AFOs (including poultry operations) and, if necessary, to identify appropriate regulatory and nonregulatory responses for controlling those emissions. C. What Is the Agency Intending To Do With the Scientific Data Received From the Public? The Agency intends to consider the scientific data that it receives from the public in its evaluation of this petition. Once the Agency has made its decision it will issue a notice that provides its rationale to either grant or deny the petition. Dated: December 20, 2005. Thomas P. Dunne, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. [FR Doc. E5–7869 Filed 12–23–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMB Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. SUMMARY: Background Notice is hereby given of the final approval of proposed information collections by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under OMB delegated authority, as per 5 CFR 1320.16 (OMB Regulations on Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public). Board–approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the OMB 83–Is and supporting statements and approved collection of information instrument(s) are placed into OMB’s public docket files. The AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer –– Michelle Long –– Division of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202– 452–3829). OMB Desk Officer –– Mark Menchik –– Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, or e-mail to mmenchik@omb.eop.gov. Final approval under OMB delegated authority of the extension for three years, without revision, of the following reports: 1. Report title: Recordkeeping and Disclosure Requirements Associated with Loans Secured by Real Estate Located in Flood Hazard Areas Pursuant to Section 208.25 of Regulation H. Agency form number: Reg H–2. OMB control number: 7100–0280. Frequency: Event–generated. Reporters: State member banks. Annual reporting hours: 122,413 hours. Estimated average hours per response: Notice of special flood hazards to borrowers and servicers, 0.08 hours; notice to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of servicer, 0.08 hours; notice to FEMA of change of servicer, 0.08 hours; and retention of standard FEMA form, 0.04 hours. Number of respondents: 910. General description of report: This information collection is mandatory (12 U.S.C. 248(a)(1)). Because the Federal Reserve does not collect any of FEMA forms this information collection is not given confidential treatment. However, should any of these records come into the possession of the Federal Reserve, such information may be protected from disclosure by exemption 4 and 6 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) and (b)(6)). Abstract: Regulation H requires state member banks to notify a borrower and servicer when loans secured by real estate are determined to be in a special flood hazard area and notify them whether flood insurance is available; notify FEMA of the identity of, and any change of, the servicer of a loan secured by real estate in a special flood hazard area; and retain a completed copy of the Standard Flood Hazard Determination E:\FR\FM\27DEN1.SGM 27DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 247 (Tuesday, December 27, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76452-76454]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-7869]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-SFUND-2005-0013; FRL-8015-4]


Notice of Availability of a Petition for Exemption From EPCRA and 
CERCLA Reporting Requirements for Ammonia From Poultry Operations

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of data availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of a Petition for 
Exemption from EPCRA and CERCLA Reporting Requirements for Ammonia from 
Poultry Operations that was submitted to the Environmental Protection 
Agency on August 5, 2005 by the National Chicken Council, National 
Turkey Federation, and U.S. Poultry and Egg Association as nonprofit 
member organizations that represent the majority of broiler and turkey 
producers across the country. This document is being made available so 
that the public will have the opportunity to provide relevant data 
regarding this petition. EPA, in accordance with its mission to protect 
human health and the environment, will consider the impacts of human 
health and the environment in its decision whether to grant or deny 
this petition.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 27, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
SFUND-2005-0013, by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: superfund.docket@epa.gov.
     Fax: 202-566-0224.
     Mail: Superfund Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, 
Mailcode: 5202T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: Public Reading Room, Room B102, EPA West 
Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. Such 
deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of 
operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-
2005-0013. EPA's policy is that all comments

[[Page 76453]]

received will be included in the public docket without change and may 
be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided, unless the comment includes information 
claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other 
information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit 
information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through 
http://www.regulations.gov. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is 
an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without 
going through www.regulations.gov your e-mail address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA 
may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid 
the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of 
any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public 
docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/
epahome/dockets.htm. ``For additional instructions on submitting 
comments, go to Unit III.A of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 
this document.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Superfund Docket, EPA/DC, 
EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The 
Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the 
Superfund Docket is (202) 566-0276).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. General Information

A. Interested Entities

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Examples of interested
             Type of entity                          entities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Industry...............................  Poultry Industry, Owners/
                                          Operators of animal production
                                          operations.
Environmental and Citizen Groups.......  Sierra Club, Environmental
                                          Integrity Project, Local
                                          Citizen Groups.
State/Local/Tribal Government..........  State and Tribal Emergency
                                          Response Commissions, and
                                          Local Emergency Planning
                                          Committees.
Federal................................  National Response Center,
                                          Regional Environmental
                                          Protection Agency Offices.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a 
guide for readers regarding entities likely to be interested in this 
petition. This table lists the types of entities that EPA is now aware 
could potentially be interested in this petition. Other types of 
entities not listed in the table may also be interested.

B. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

    You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your 
comments:
    1. Explain your views as clearly as possible.
    2. Describe any assumptions that you used.
    3. Provide any technical information and/or data you used that 
support your views.
    4. If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you 
arrived at your estimate.
    5. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.
    6. Offer alternatives.
    7. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline 
identified.
    8. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket 
identification number in the subject line on the first page of your 
response. It would also be helpful if you provided the name, date, and 
Federal Register citation related to your comments.

II. Background

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and 
Liability Act (CERCLA) section 103(a) requires that any person in 
charge of a facility notify the National Response Center (NRC), as soon 
as he has knowledge, of the release of a hazardous substance from that 
facility in quantities equal to or greater than those determined under 
section 102(b) of CERCLA. Those quantities are called the Reportable 
Quantities or RQs. Similarly, EPCRA section 304(a) requires that the 
local emergency planning committee (LEPC) for any area likely to be 
affected, and the State emergency response commission (SERC) of any 
State likely to be affected by the release of an extremely hazardous 
substance listed under EPCRA Section 302 also be notified. Neither 
CERCLA nor EPCRA limit the industry or commercial sectors that need to 
report; therefore any facility releasing more than an RQ must report. 
With respect to poultry operations, the CERCLA hazardous and EPCRA 
extremely hazardous substance most likely to trigger an RQ is ammonia 
at 100 pounds per 24 hours. Ammonia may be used at a farm as fertilizer 
and thus, is stored in tanks and can be released. However, at poultry 
operations, another likely release source of ammonia is from the barns 
that contain poultry litter (bedding material that is combined with 
deposited manure).
    Hydrogen sulfide is also a CERCLA hazardous and EPCRA extremely 
hazardous substance, with an RQ at 100 pounds per 24 hours, which may 
be emitted from animal agricultural operations. However, the petition 
is silent on hydrogen sulfide.
    On August 5, 2005, the Agency received the subject petition titled, 
``Petition for Exemption from EPCRA and CERCLA Reporting Requirements 
for Ammonia from Poultry Operations.''

III. Summary of Today's Action

A. What Is the Agency Asking From the Public?

    The Agency believes the petition raises important issues that 
require a scientifically-sound basis in order to make a reasoned 
decision. The Agency's Office of Science Policy includes on its Web 
site, http://www.epa.gov/osp/science.htm, a statement that, ``[s]cience 
provides the foundation for credible decision-making. Only through 
adequate knowledge about the risks to human health and ecosystems, and 
innovative solutions to prevent pollution and reduce risk, can we 
continue to enjoy a high quality life. With a better understanding of 
environmental risks to people and ecosystems, EPA can target the 
hazards that pose the greatest risks and anticipate environmental 
problems before they reach a critical level.'' It is appropriate, based 
on this policy, that the Agency seeks relevant data so that it can make 
a science-based decision regarding this petition.
    As a result the Agency is requesting the public to submit any 
relevant data

[[Page 76454]]

on the impact of ammonia emissions on public health and the environment 
from poultry operations. The Agency is also interested in hearing from 
State Emergency Planning Commissions (SERC) and Local Emergency 
Planning Committees (LEPCs) about the usefulness of release reports 
that are required under EPCRA and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 
355--Emergency Planning and Notification).

B. What Efforts Are the Agency Currently Pursuing To Evaluate Emissions 
From Poultry Operations?

    Currently, the Agency does not have any reliable data regarding 
emissions from the poultry operations industry that it could use to 
properly evaluate this petition; however, the Agency is currently 
evaluating applications from the animal agricultural industry for 
participation in the Agency's Animal Feeding Operations (AFO)/Consent 
Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) that will enable the Agency to collect 
emissions data from the industry.
    On January 31, 2005, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register 
(70 FR 4958) offering animal agricultural operations an opportunity to 
sign the voluntary Consent Agreement, which among other things 
establishes a monitoring study for emissions at such operations. The 
need for the monitoring study was based on a National Academy of 
Sciences (NAS) review and evaluation of EPA and the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture's scientific basis for estimating emissions of various air 
pollutants from AFOs. The NAS issued a final report in February, 2003 
concluding that scientifically sound and practical protocols for 
measuring air emissions from AFOs needed to be developed. The NAS also 
found that existing methodologies for estimating air emissions from 
AFOs are generally inadequate because of the limited data and site 
specific factors on which they are based. In response to the 2003 NAS 
report, EPA began revising the conceptual enforcement agreement to 
specifically address the data and emission-estimating methodology 
needs, thus beginning to address the needs cited by the NAS, and 
determining AFO regulatory responsibility under the CAA, CERCLA, and 
EPCRA. This resulting monitoring study will lead to the development of 
methodologies for estimating emissions from AFOs and will allow 
Respondents to determine and comply with their regulatory 
responsibilities under the CAA, CERCLA, and EPCRA.
    Once applicable emission-estimating methodologies have been 
published by EPA, the liability release in the proposed Agreement is 
contingent on the Respondent certifying that it is in compliance with 
all relevant requirements of the CAA, CERCLA, and EPCRA. In return, 
Respondents receive a release and covenant not to sue for the specific 
violations identified by applying the relevant emissions-estimating 
methodologies as long as the participating animal agricultural 
operations comply with all of their obligations under the Agreement.
    The AFO Air Compliance Agreement is an important part of EPA's 
strategy to address air emissions from AFOs. In addition to resolving 
the compliance status of AFOs under the relevant statutes, it will 
provide critical data that will allow EPA to quantify emissions coming 
from AFOs (including poultry operations) and, if necessary, to identify 
appropriate regulatory and nonregulatory responses for controlling 
those emissions.

C. What Is the Agency Intending To Do With the Scientific Data Received 
From the Public?

    The Agency intends to consider the scientific data that it receives 
from the public in its evaluation of this petition. Once the Agency has 
made its decision it will issue a notice that provides its rationale to 
either grant or deny the petition.

    Dated: December 20, 2005.
Thomas P. Dunne,
Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency 
Response.
[FR Doc. E5-7869 Filed 12-23-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P