Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MINIMIZING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF LIVESTOCK MANURES USING INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT REGIMENS

Location: Renewable Energy and Manure Management Research

Title: Auditing and assessing air quality in concentrated feeding operations

Authors
item Cole, Noel
item Todd, Richard
item Auvermann, Brent - TX AG EXPERIMENT STATION
item Parker, David - WEST TEXAS A&M UNIV

Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 26, 2007
Publication Date: February 1, 2008
Citation: Cole, N.A., Todd, R.W., Auvermann, B., Parker, D. 2008. Auditing and assessing air quality in concentrated feeding operations. The Professional Animal Scientist. 24(2008):1-22.

Interpretive Summary: The potential adverse effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) on the environment are a growing concern. The air quality concerns of CAFO vary with the location, type of operation, and other factors, but generally include ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOC), greenhouse gases (GHG), and odors/odorants. Air pollutants are regulated by a number of Federal (Clean Air Act, "Superfund"-CERCLA, and "Right-to-Know"-EPCRA) and State regulations. Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with poultry, swine, and dairy industries established the National Air Emissions Monitoring System (NAEMS) to fund research on emissions of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, PM, and VOC from U.S. production farms. Sometimes air quality regulations are based on actual emissions and other times they are based on atmospheric concentrations or human perception (odors). Measuring the concentrations or emissions of most air pollutants is expensive, complex, and labor intensive. Because of large variability, concentrations emissions must be measured continuously over an extended period of time. Additionally, different methods/models can give very different results with the same data set, so preferably, a multitude of methods should be used simultaneously to measure emissions. In the future, requirements for monitoring of air emissions from CAFO will probably vary from state-to-state and among different types of operations. Processed-based and empirical models need to be developed so that emissions and/or concentrations of air pollutants con be estimated from readily obtainable diet, animal, facility, and environmental variables. Auditors will need to be trained in a variety of disciplines including animal sciences, chemistry, engineering, micrometeorology, instrumentation, mathematical modeling, and logic.

Technical Abstract: The potential adverse effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) on the environment are a growing concern. The air quality issues of most concerns to CAFO vary, but generally include ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOC), green house gases (GHG), and odors/odorants. Air pollutants may be retulated by Federal and State laws or by nuisance complaints. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and poultry, swine, and dairy industries recently agreed to the National Air Emissions Monitoring System to fund research on atmospheric emissions from U.S. production farms. Air quality regulations may be based on actual emissions, atmospheric concentrations, human perception, or via limiting the size or location of CAFO. Measuring the concentrations or emissions of most air pollutants is expensive and complex. Because of spatial and temporal variability, concentrations and emissions must be measured continuously over an extended period of time. Because different methods/models can give different results with the same data set, a multitude of methods should be used simultaneously to assure emissions are reasonable. The "best" method to measure concentrations and emissions will depend on atmospheric concentrations, cost, facility characteristics, objectives, and other factors. In the future, requirements for monitoring of air emissions from CAFO will probably increase. Reliable processed-based models need to be developed so that emissions of air pollutants can be estimated from readily obtainable diet, animal, facility, and environmental variables. Auditors will need to be trained in a variety of disciplines including animal sciences, chemistry, engineering, micrometeorology, instrumentation, mathematical modeling, and logic.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page