air pollution by concentrated animal feeding operations

The article Air Pollution by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations by P. Patel and T.J. Centner is justification for the regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOS). Reasons include the health and environmental implications of CAFOS, a current lack of regulation and measurable standards and the currently unsuccessful legislation and guidelines. Two major points of the article are that there are too many exceptions and the current efforts are not addressing the root cause of the problems.

Chemicals emitted byCAFOs include ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter and other hazardous air pollutants. CAFOs are not required to report hazardous air pollutants and are exempt from the Clean Air Act and The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (ERLA) and the federal Emergency Planning and Right to Know Act (EPCRA).

A serious limitation to regulation is the lack of clear definitions for the health effects of CAFOS, such as headaches, nausea, anger, depression and other psychological ailments. This also prevents the EPA from imposing the already subjective levies to many delinquents. Other problems include too many exemptions and a lack of legislation/efforts to address the cause of the issues.  Pork producers are identified as the biggest environmental offenders.

Patel, P., Centner, T. J. (2010) Air pollution by concentrated animal feeding operations. Desalination & Water Treatment. 19(1-3) 12-16.