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EPA proposes Clean Air Act immunity deal for factory farms

[JURIST] The Environmental Protection Agency [official website] announced Friday that it will offer large "factory-style" farms an exemption from Clean Air Act [EPA text] fines if, in return, the farms monitor air quality and submit those figures to the government. The plan is designed to greatly speed up the development of new animal-processing emissions standards that, with the help of the recieved data, would take effect in about four years rather than an estimated ten. In exchange for their air quality data, the farms would gain immunity from future Clean Air Act fines over $100,000. To accept the EPA offer [PDF], a farm must contribute $2,500 to an air monitoring fund and pay a one-time penalty of up to $100,000 as a means of payment for past violations. EPA officer Thomas Skinner stated that such a program is not a "pay up and get out of jail free pass," but rather serves to expedite clean air compliance. Read the EPA press release. AP has more.

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