Academic journal article Environmental Law

"From Frisbees to Flatulence": Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations under the Clean Air Act

Academic journal article Environmental Law

"From Frisbees to Flatulence": Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations under the Clean Air Act

Article excerpt

I.    INTRODUCTION                                              892 II.   THE THREAT OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE: AN OVERVIEW          894 III.  CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS AND AIR POLLUTION  896       A. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations                 896       B. Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Pollution from          Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations                 897 IV.   CLEAN AIR ACT OVERVIEW                                    899       A. National Ambient Air Quality Standards                 900       B. State Implementation Plans                             901       C New Source Review: Prevention of       Significant Deterioration                                 902 V.    PRESENT REGULATION OF CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING       OPERATIONS UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT                        903       A. Air Compliance Agreement                               904 VI.   REGULATION OF GREENHOUSE GASES UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT    906 VII.  REGULATING GREENHOUSE GASES FROM CONCENTRATED ANIMAL       FEEDING OPERATIONS UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT                909 VIII. CONCLUSION                                                912 

I. INTRODUCTION

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), consisting of over 1,300 scientists internationally, (2) warned in its Fifth Assessment in 2014 that human influence is driving changes to the climate system that have already had widespread consequences on public health and the environment. (3) In 2014, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that global greenhouse gas emissions from crop and livestock production totaled 5.3 billion tonnes in carbon dioxide equivalent (C02eq), a metric used to compare greenhouse gas emissions. (4) According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 24% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions originated from agriculture and deforestation as compared to 14% of emissions from the global transportation sector. (5) Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions from crop and livestock production are on the rise with FAO's 2014 emissions total signifying a nearly two-fold increase in emissions since 1961 (6) and a 14% increase since 2001-2014. (7)

Public outcry for U.S. political action on climate change is high, as exemplified by the March for Science and Peoples Climate March, where together in 2017 more than 450,000 people marched for climate action in the nation's capital, across the country, and around the world. (8) Due to congressional gridlock, the federal government's best effort to regulate greenhouse gases to mitigate global climate change has been through the Clean Air Act's (9) (Act) mobile source program (10) and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) stationary source program. (11) Despite public outcry and administrative action on greenhouse gases--albeit under a former, more climate-responsive administration--domestic air pollution emissions from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have been largely ignored. (12) Because the threat of climate change is grave, political action should be taken immediately to mitigate climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the largest emitting sectors, including the largely disregarded agricultural sector.

This Comment stands for the premise that global climate change is real, human-caused, and a significant international threat that should be mitigated, in part, through the regulation of greenhouse gases from domestic CAFOs under the Act. Part II establishes that both the international scientific community and U.S. military community are in consensus that climate change is real, human-caused, and a significant global threat. Part III establishes that excessive air pollution, specifically greenhouse gas pollution, is emitted from CAFOs. Part IV provides an overview of the Act's National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and how they are implemented through State Implementation Plans (SIPs) as well as an overview of the Act's pertinent stationary source program, the New Source Review program's PSD program. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.