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Air Quality Concerns in Pennsylvania

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers and forest landowners conserve our natural resources including providing clean air and preventing adverse atmospheric change. There are six natural resource concerns and opportunities on farm and forest lands related to air quality: Particulate Matter Emissions (including coarse and fine particles, smoke, dust, and off-site effects from wind erosion) Ozone Precursor Emissions Ammonia Emissions Odors Chemical Drift Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Sequestration

Air Emissions Regulations

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Click here to learn more about Agricultural (Ag) Air Emissions and conservation practices to help reduce them.

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 Hybrid Poplars planted next to a house.

 

These Hybrid Poplars were planted next to a layer house for particulate matter and visual screening. After 2 growing seasons, most of these hybrid poplars were 12’ – 15’ tall. Additional rows of conifers were planted adjacent to the hybrid poplars.

Useful Tools to Help You Implement Air Quality Practices

  • National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) - Is an interactive web based tool intended to provide planning assistance to livestock and poultry producers in determining the areas in the operations where there are opportunities to make changes that result in reduced air emissions. Click this link to access the training information on how to use the tool.
  • COMET-VR Carbon Sequestration Tool- a user-friendly, web-based tool that provides estimates of carbon sequestration and net greenhouse gas emissions from soils and biomass for US farms and ranches. 

Air Quality Worksheets

Resources

  • NRCS Air Quality and Atmospheric Change Web Site - Contains the latest information about air quality, global climate change, training, and fact sheets.
  • USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force Web Site - This site serves as a repository of information about the task force, and provides public access to Federal Register notices, meeting minutes, reports and documents, and official communiqués from and about the task force.
  • Penn State Extension "Air Quality in Animal Agriculture" Web Site - Penn State Extension has created a web-page to serve as the repository of Agriculture/Air Quality Extension recordings and fact sheets. The website is being developed by the Air Quality Education in Animal Agriculture (AQEAA) project. Information available includes regulations, webcasts, videos, self-learning, and research/workshop summaries.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Odor Management Program - Act 38 (also referred to as the Nutrient and Odor Management Act) has placed the responsibility on the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission to establish standards for developing and implementing effective odor management plans. The Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission directly administers the Facility Odor Management Program.

Training and Background Information on NAQSAT

This information was presented at the May 2016 NAQSAT workshop held at Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA

Contact

For more information on air quality:
Pete Vanderstappen
Pennsylvania NRCS Air Quality Contact
(717) 237-2228