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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Livestock Nutrient Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #208219

Title: Auditing and assessing nutrient management for air quality.

item Cole, Noel
item Todd, Richard

Submitted to: American Society of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2007
Publication Date: 8/1/2007
Citation: Cole, N.A., Todd, R.W., Auvermann, B., Parker, D. 2007. Auditing and assessing nutrient management for air quality [abstract]. In: Journal of Animal Science Abstracts from 2007 Joint Meeting, of American Society of Animal Science, July 8-12, 2007, San Antonio, Texas. Volume 85, Supplement 1, p. 595.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The potential adverse effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) on the environment are a growing concern. Until recently, the effects of CAFO on air quality have received little attention. The air quality concerns of CAFO vary with the location, type of operation, and other factors. In general, those of most concern include ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOC), green house gases (GHG), and odors/odorants. Some states have initiated their own air quality regulations, in part because only PM and VOC are regulated under the Clean Air Act. However, in the future, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide may be regulated under the Superfund (CERCLA) and(or) 'Right-to-Know' (EPCRA) Acts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and poultry, swine, and dairy industries recently agreed to the National Air Emissions Monitoring System (Consent Agreement) to fund research on emissions of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, PM, and VOC from U.S. production farms. Air quality regulations may be based on actual emissions, atmospheric concentrations, human perception (odors) or via limiting the size or location of CAFO. Measuring the concentrations or emissions of most air pollutants is expensive, complex, and labor intensive. Because of large spatial and temporal variability, concentrations and emissions must be measured continuously over an extended period of time. Because different methods/models can give widely varying results with the same data set, it is preferable to use a multitude of methods simultaneously and a mass balance should be run to assure emissions estimates are plausible. In the future, requirements for monitoring of air emissions from CAFO will probably vary from state-to-state and among different types of operations. Most likely, producers, and not the government, will be responsible for the costs of any air quality monitoring program. Processed-based and empirical models need to be developed so that emissions and/or concentrations 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.