Delaware Public Media

Delmarva Poultry executive shows support for FARM Act in Washington

Mar 8, 2018

Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. Executive Director Bill Satterfield testified in support of the FARM Act Thursday.

If approved, the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method, or FARM Act, would negate a federal court ruling requiring animal agriculture producers to calculate and report the ammonia output from their farms.

Satterfield spoke before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and the Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight Thursday. He says studies have shown ammonia from decomposing manure dissipates as it moves away from a farm.

“So the chances are pretty good the ammonia is not going to get on neighboring properties. So there is no emergency created,” said Satterfield.

Industrial sites have been required to report ammonia output since 1980, but Satterfield says the EPA has not yet come up with a reasonable way for farmers to measure ammonia in wide open spaces.

“There’s a long history, I believe, of industrial operations having the tools to be able to measure,” said Satterfield. “In many cases it’s an emergency release out of a pipe or a vent or something like that, rather than a chicken house which has a lot of openings.”

The FARM Act is sponsored by 34 U.S. Senators including Delaware Sens. Chris Coons and Tom Carper.