January 2001. A petition for rulemaking on air quality standards, aimed at livestock farming, was presented to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI).
February 2002. A Joint University Report was issued which recommended air quality standards for hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. The Iowa Air Quality Coalition was formed involving organizations representing farms, businesses and cities.
April 29, 2002. State Legislature approves and the Governor signs new livestock regulations (S.F. 2293) which gives DNR authority to monitor and develop air quality rules for Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia and odors. Standards are to be enforced at the separated distance from livestock barns.
July 22, 2002. The Iowa Air Quality Coalition testified to the EPC before they approved ambient air quality standards similar to recommendations in the Joint University Report. Furthermore, the EPC also denied the petition for rulemaking put forward by ICCI in January of 2001.
September 2002-January 2003. The department held public hearings to collect public comments throughout the state on the proposed ambient air quality standards and proposed ambient air sampling manual. Public comments against the rule outnumbered those in favor of the rule. Iowa State University provided written comments on the proposed rules on January 6, 2003.
April 18, 2003. Iowa State University provided comment to DNR staff raising concerns about the proposed air quality standards.
April 21, 2003. Iowa State University testified to EPC that the proposed standards were not consistent with ISU’s previous recommendations. Nonetheless, EPC approved the second version of ambient air quality standards for hydrogen sulfide and ammonia including a sampling manual. The approved level for Hydrogen Sulfide was 15 parts per billion at the property line.
April 30, 2003. The Iowa Legislature nullified the EPC rules by a 2/3 majority which prevented DNR from implementing air quality rules.
June 2, 2003. The Iowa Air Quality Coalition filed a Petition for Rulemaking requesting the DNR to follow specific guidelines in conducting its field study of animal feeding operations. The petition requested DNR to conduct the field study before adopting ambient air quality standards.
July 3, 2003. ICCI filed their second petition for rulemaking asking the DNR to adopt stringent ambient air standards similar to those nullified by the Iowa Legislature.
September 15, 2003. ICCI’s second petition for rulemaking was denied by the EPC. The Iowa Air Quality Coalition withdrew its petition in order to revise it and address DNR’s concerns with the coalition’s drafting.
November 2, 2003. The Iowa Air Quality Coalition filed a new petition for rulemaking asking the department to conduct the field study and develop standards in accordance with existing state law. (Iowa Code section 459.207)
November 14, 2003. Iowa State University provided written comment to the DNR staff that the Joint University Report’s recommendation was no longer supported by the currently available science based on data collected by DNR.
December 15, 2003. Iowa State University testified to the EPC that the Joint University Report’s recommendation was no longer supported by the currently available science based on data collected by DNR. For example, ISU testified that the DNR data indicates the exposure to Hydrogen Sulfide is a short term event, rather than continuous exposure.
January 20, 2004. The EPC approved a third proposed rule setting the same air quality standard for hydrogen sulfide of 15 ppb over a 1 hour average except the scope of the rule was limited to livestock operations. Also EPC denied the Iowa Air Quality Coalition’s Petition for rulemaking.
February 17, 2004 through April 8, 2004. Public comment period on the DNR’s proposed hydrogen sulfide standard. About 3000 comments were submitted to DNR.
Recap of 2004 Air Quality Legislation
January 20, 2004 — Iowa DNR and EPC begin rulemaking process again for proposed air quality standards for livestock. The proposed level would be 15 parts per billion at a separated distance but with the ability to monitor within 900 feet of the separated distance.
March 9, 2004 — House File (HF) 2523 is introduced as new legislation and placed on the House of Representatives calendar. HF 2523 is promoted by farm and industry groups as a health based, air quality regulation with regulatory levels patterned after numbers developed by the Centers for Disease Control.
March 23, 2004 — HF 2523 is amended and passed by the House 63-34.
March 31, 2004 — Iowa Senate amends the House version of HF 2523 and passes the legislation (34-14) which established air quality standards at 70 parts per billion. (enforced at the separated distance).
April 6, 2004 — Iowa House of Representatives accepts the Senate version of HF 2523 and passes legislation (65-34) which would establish air quality standards at 70 parts per billion. (enforced at the separated distance).
April 13, 2004 — Governor Vilsack vetoed the legislation passed by the Legislature which results in air quality regulation going back to DNR and EPC for development of new DNR rules.
Key points for House File 2523 — vetoed April 13, 2004
- Prohibits the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) from adopting amending or repealing an ambient air standard if the U.S. EPA has not adopted a standard.
- Requires any air quality rules for animal feeding operations to be adopted in accordance with 2002 legislation as amended by this bill.
- Creates an advisory panel to determine a health effect level for odor from animal feeding operations and submit a final report to the Iowa Legislature and the Iowa EPC by 12/31/06.
- The EPC cannot adopt a rule establishing a health effect level for odor until after the panel submits a final report and a statute has been enacted.
- Defines health effect level as a level and duration of exposure to odor that causes a material and verifiable physical disease at a separated location (a required separation distance such as to a residence).
- Amends current law to add lagoons and basins built before 5/31/95 to the list of separated locations where an air quality standard may be monitored or enforced.
- Amends current law to require DNR to conduct a field study for hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and odor for at least 3 years (including data already collected), with data collected from at least 5 confinement operations (geographically distributed) for each type or phase of animal production system commonly used. For hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, the monitor must be located within 300 feet of the residence etc. but not closer than the required separation distance. For odor, the data may be taken at any location that is not closer than the minimum separation distance.
- Sets a minimal risk level for hydrogen sulfide and ammonia based on recommendations by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control)(the hydrogen sulfide and ammonia short term minimal risk levels are 30 times more restrictive than health effect levels):
- Short term (2 consecutive valid sampling weeks): Either (1) 70 parts per billion (ppb) daily average or (2) 23.52 parts per million-hour (ppm-hr) — the total of all hourly averages, reduced by 70 ppb for each hour no data is collected; or
- Long term (12 consecutive valid sampling months): Either (1) 30 ppb daily average or (2) 262.08 ppm-hr — the total of all hourly averages, reduced by 30 ppb for each hour no data is collected.
- Short term (2 consecutive valid sampling weeks): Either (1) 1,700 ppb daily average or (2) 571.2 ppm-hr — the total of all hourly averages, reduced by 1,700 ppb for each hour no data is collected; or
- Long term (12 consecutive valid sampling months): Either (1) 300 ppb daily average or (2) 2,628 ppm-hr — the total of all hourly averages, reduced by 300 ppb for each hour no data is collected.
Establishes the procedure for determining hourly averages (at least 45 minutes of data out of 60), a “valid sampling day” (at least 18 valid hourly averages out of 24), “valid sampling week” (at least 6 valid sampling days in 7 consecutive days) and “valid sampling month” (calendar month in which at least 75% of the days are valid sampling days).
Provides that if the field study shows to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that at a separated location hydrogen sulfide or ammonia exceed the minimal risk level or odor exceeds the health effect level, the EPC may:
Adopt rules for enforcement. For enforcement purposes, the DNR may monitor an operation if a written complaint is received from the owner or occupant of a separated location. If a violation is found, the operation shall have 180 days to correct a violation of a short-term minimal risk level and one year to correct a violation of a long-term minimal risk level or health effect level for odor. If the violation is not corrected within the applicable time period, DNR shall take enforcement action.
Establishes a monitoring advisory committee to advise the DNR on monitoring equipment, protocols, and data collection. Members are to be appointed by the Governor and cannot be DNR representatives.
Federal air emissions laws
- Sign up for Air Emissions Consent Agreement closed August 12, 2005.
- For farms that commence operation or expand deadline, producer may consider taking steps to comply with federal air emissions laws at the outset
- If an operation will emit more than 100 pounds of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide in a 24 hour period, the operator must file CERCLA and EPCRA reports after the operation begins
For more information see: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/er/triggers/haztrigs/crelproc.htm