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Environmental Groups Press EPA To Curb Farm-Related Air Pollution

Wisconsin Groups Among Those Filing Lawsuits


New federal lawsuits are trying to push the Environmental Protection Agency to address the problem of air pollution at large farms.

The group Clean Wisconsin has joined other organizations in calling on federal regulators to respond to a petition filed years ago.

Clean Wisconsin’s Paul Matthewson said one main concern is thousands of animals produce a lot of ammonia in waste.

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“Over two thirds of all ammonia emissions are coming off of livestock operations,” Matthewson said. “And so if we can get the EPA to regulate ammonia, and require some common-sense, reasonable restrictions on the amount of these pollutants that are coming off of farms, that’s good for everybody.

Matthewson said one way to reduce ammonia emissions at large farms is with bedding that better absorbs the chemical.

Some agri-business groups argue that the large farms, called concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs are safe. But the EPA has said it will review the lawsuits.