Air Quality

The University of Nebraska is addressing air quality issues associated with animal agriculture in several ways because good air quality is very important to Nebraskans.

Rule Clarifies Emissions Reporting

In December, 2008, the US EPA published a final rule that clarified which livestock facilities must report air emissions from their facilities. Animal agriculture was granted an administrative exemption from reporting air emissions that normally occur from raising farm animals under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Learn more about this rule and how to report.

Odor Footprint Tool

footprintThe Odor Footprint Tool is a simple science-based tool that can help producers, community leaders, and other rural residents make well-informed decisions about siting of animal feeding operations and to determine the effect of implementing odor control technology.  Developed at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the Odor Footprint Tool provides minimum separation distances between animal production facilities and rural dwellings in four directions around the source facilities.

Controlling Emissions

University of Nebraska Extension works with livestock producers and county officials to increase their understanding of odor and available technologies for controlling emissions.  Educational materials and programs encourage voluntary adoption of technologies for controlling odors, as well as dust, ammonia, and other air contaminants.

Ongoing emissions research at UNL has the goal of developing practical methods for reducing air emissions from cattle feedlots, facilities used to manage manure, wastewater and/or lot runoff.

Update on Livestock Air Quality Issues--audio/video conference
Presentation topics at this link: (Note--There is a bar at the bottom of the screen for controlling progression of the presentation. Slide the bar to the start time of the preferred topic.)

  • Odor and Dust Mitigation from Open Lot Systems (start time 0:00:00)
  • Carbon Credit Incentives for Covered Manure Lagoons (start time 0:38:00)
  • Understanding the Biochemistry of Odor (start time 1:08:00)
  • Does Feeding Distillers Grains Create More Odor? (start 1:22:00)
  • Water Curtain and Other MARC Air Quality Research** (start time 1:29:00) **The powerpoint does not show on the recording.

For more information on other air quality topics, check the Related Resources links on the resources page.

This section of the Extension Water Web site has been authored/reviewed by Odor Management Team members Crystal Powers and Rick Stowell.

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