Exchanges of personnel among the relevant agencies should be promoted to encourage efficient use of personnel, broadened understanding of the issues, and enhanced cooperation among the agencies.
For the short term, USDA and EPA should initiate and conduct a coordinated research program designed to produce a scientifically sound basis for measuring and estimating air emissions from AFOs on local, regional, and national scales.
For the long term, USDA, EPA, and other relevant organizations should conduct coordinated research to determine which emissions (to water and air) from animal production systems are most harmful to the environment and human health and to develop technologies to decrease their releases into the environment. The overall research program should include research to optimize inputs to AFOs, optimize recycling of materials, and significantly decrease releases to the environment.
FINDING 13. Setting priorities for both short- and long-term research on estimating air emission rates, concentrations, and dispersion requires weighing the potential severity of adverse impacts, the extent of current scientific knowledge about them, the potential for advancing scientific knowledge, and the potential for developing successful mitigation and control strategies.
Short-term research priorities should improve estimates of emissions on individual AFOs including effects of different control technologies:
Priority research for emissions important on a local scale should be conducted on odor, PM, and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) (also see Finding 2).
Priority research for emissions important on regional, national, and global scales should be conducted on ammonia, nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (also see Finding 2).
Long-term research priorities should improve understanding of animal production systems and lead to development of new control technologies.
As stated earlier in this report, some of the committee’s findings provide a basis for organizing recommendations for short-term research needs and actions. These recommendations are intended to guide research that will provide EPA and USDA with information that will help direct regulatory and management actions