Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
For Immediate Release: March 26, 2018
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package signed by President Trump includes several provisions that should benefit American agriculture.
The legislation exempts farm animal waste air emissions from reporting requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and negates the impending May 1 CERCLA reporting deadline.
“CERCLA was never intended to target farms, rather it was meant to address dangerous industrial pollution, chemical plant explosions and the release of hazardous materials into the environment. The commonsense exemption means that farmers will not be subject to the same emissions reporting standards as a federal ‘Superfund’ site,” said PFB President Rick Ebert.
Farm Bureau notes that the spending package provides a waiver from the electronic logging device mandate for livestock haulers until September 30, the creation of a $625 million pilot program for rural broadband and funding increases for agriculture research. In addition, the plan prohibits the closing of Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices and increases funding for FSA programs and loan officers.
PFB points out that the spending bill, which will fund the federal government through September 30, 2018, also fixes a provision (Section 199A) in the tax reform legislation enacted earlier this year that provided a tax advantage to farmers who sold their products to cooperatives, but not to private companies.
“The new provision allows farmers to take advantage of the tax break, regardless of whether they sell their agricultural goods to a cooperative or another food processing company,” concluded Ebert.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with more than 62,000 member families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.