Research required to obtain scientifically sound estimates of air emissions from AFOs is addressed primarily in the previous section on short-term research recommendations. Findings of the short-term research will determine the course of long-term research in this area.
The short- and long-term research recommendations address issues that are associated with regulation of AFO emissions based on priorities established in Finding 2. The committee recommends that a process-based modeling approach be used as a replacement for the emission factor approach to limit and/or regulate for most AFO emissions. The critical short-term research needs include concentration measurements, dispersion modeling (local and air shed), odor measurement and characterization, and abatement and/or management strategies. The critical long-term research needs are focused on an integrated program to reduce the losses of materials from AFOs to the environment by more efficient use of input materials and increased recycling of nitrogen-, carbon-, sulfur-, and phosphorus-containing materials within the AFOs. Wastes that cannot be used within the system should either be converted into a product that can be used by another sector of society or be converted into a material that will not harm people or the environment (e.g., N2). The goal of these recommendations is to address the lack of technical data, procedures, equipment, management practices, and abatement equipment needed to limit AFO emissions while maintaining a viable AFO industry. The implementation of these recommendations requires willingness within EPA and USDA not to do business as usual, with the same programs and same resource allocation. Rather, new partnerships between the agencies and with other groups need to be forged and significant increases in funding must be allocated.