Updated Web Site on Environmental Regulations

US - EZRegs offers access to environmental regulation information affecting farmers.
calendar icon 14 May 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

The EZRegs web site developed by University of Illinois (U of I) Extension specialists has been updated to include new information on key agricultural environmental regulations. Located at www.ezregs.illinois.edu, the web site identifies environmental regulations that pertain to a variety of agricultural related areas, including livestock production, food crop production, ornamental horticulture production, landscape maintenance and small-scale animal facilities.

Ted Funk, U of I Extension agricultural engineer, said: "Finding information on state and federal environmental regulations can often be difficult and confusing. This web site allows users to access frequently asked questions related to their interest area to find out what regulations may impact them and how. They can read the actual regulation and in many cases an interpretation of the regulation.

"Whether a person is a livestock producer wanting to know about manure application regulations or a nursery owner wanting to dispose of unwanted pesticides, they can assess the EZRegs web site to find out which regulations are most stringent and what they need to do to be in compliance."

New information recently added to the site includes US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recording requirements related to continuous air emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulphide from livestock facilities. The regulations identified include the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

Dr Funk added: "In Illinois, large livestock operations must complete the appropriate forms and provide them to the state emergency management agency as well as their local emergency planning committee. There is no cost for compliance other than the time it takes to fill out the forms, but there could be a high cost to your operation if you ignore the EPCRA regulation requirements."

Additional new information provided on the web site is EPA regulation on oil spill prevention and control, or specifically the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Program. The goal of the SPCC programme is to prevent oil spills into waters of the US and adjoining shorelines. A key element of this programme calls for farmers and other facilities to have an oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC plan.

Dr Fnk added: "If an agricultural operation has a big fuel tank that springs a leak and there's a possibility of it getting into surface waters, a plan needs to be in place. Facilities becoming subject to this regulation requirement must be in compliance by November 10. We are trying to get the word out to farmers.

"The EZRegs web site extends our reach on getting important information out to Illinois livestock and crop producers, green industry professionals, policymakers, land-use planners, rural residents, and others who may be impacted by these state and federal environmental regulations."

Financial support for the EZRegs website has been provided by the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Pork Checkoff, and US EPA Region 5.

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