chemical dynamics shape the local and regional distribution of these species.

Nitrogen emissions from AFOs and total animal production systems are substantial and can be quantified and documented on an annual basis. Measurements and estimates of individual nitrogen species components (i.e., NH3, molecular nitrogen [N2], N2O, and nitric oxide [NO]) should be made in the context of total nitrogen losses (Finding 11, pp. 10, 115).

RECOMMENDATION: Control strategies aimed at decreasing emissions of reactive nitrogen compounds (Nr) from total animal production systems should be designed and implemented now. These strategies can include both performance standards based on individual farm calculations of nitrogen balance and technology standards to decrease total system emissions of reactive nitrogen compounds by quantifiable amounts.

USDA and EPA have not devoted the necessary financial or technical resources to estimate air emissions from AFOs and develop mitigation technologies. The scientific knowledge needed to guide regulatory and management actions requires close cooperation between the major federal agencies (EPA, USDA), the states, industry and environmental interests, and the research community, including universities (Finding 12, pp. 11, 153).

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • EPA and USDA should cooperate in forming a continuing research coordinating council (1) to develop a national research agenda on issues related to air emissions from AFOs in the context of animal production systems and (2) to provide continuing oversight on the implementation of this agenda. This council should include representatives of EPA and USDA, the research community, and other relevant interests. It should have authority to advise on research priorities and funding.

  • 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



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement