Managing air emissions from confined feeding operations

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Three reports and the recommendations on air emissions from confined feeding operations in Alberta stemming from the reports were completed in March 2012.

These reports will soon be available on Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s website. Printed copies of the report are available by contacting Atta Atia, livestock air quality specialist with Alberta Agriculture, at 780-427-4215.

  • Ambient Air Quality Measurement Around Confined Feeding Operations in Alberta — air quality was measured upwind and downwind of four different confined feeding operations (dairy, pork, feedlot and poultry) over a 14-month period. The upwind and downwind concentrations of ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, particulate matter, total suspended particles and volatile organic compounds are presented in the report.
  • Ammonia and Particulate Matter Emissions Inventory for Confined Feeding Operations in Alberta — a new, more accurate emissions inventory was developed to estimate emissions of ammonia and particulate matter from beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, swine and sheep CFOs in Alberta. The new inventory estimates ammonia and particulate emissions from CFOs in each county in the province on a monthly basis.
  • A Review of Beneficial Management Practices for Managing Undesirable Air Emissions from Confined Feeding Operations — this report provides a comprehensive scientific, technical, social and economic review of information on beneficial management practices (BMPs) which have the potential to mitigate emissions of ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, particulate matter, odour, volatile organic compounds and pathogens from CFOs. It also addresses the practicality, co-benefits, limitations and implications associated with the implementation of each BMP. BMPs studied:
  • permeable covers for manure storage facilities
  • natural and artificial windbreaks
  • bottom loading of liquid manure storage facilities
  • manure and dead animal composting
  • dust palliatives for beef cattle feedlots and unpaved roads

The air quality unit, within the Environmental Stewardship Division of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, is committed to working proactively with the livestock industry, government and non-government partners to address air quality concerns associated with livestock production in Alberta. Over the past four years the air quality unit has been involved in the development and the implementation of a series of recommendations outlined in the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) CFO Strategic Plan, entitled Managing Air Emissions from Confined Feeding Operation in Alberta. This work has been conducted in collaboration with partners from other government ministries and agencies, industry and non-government organizations.

The unit also assisted the CFO industry in the province with developing an odour management plan. The Odour Management Plan is a new tool developed for Alberta livestock producers to help them assess their operation from an odour management perspective. The intent of the plan is to identify those areas that may require improvement. It also presents options to improve odour management.

For a relatively small investment of time in completing an odour management plan, a livestock producer can greatly reduce the potential for odour complaints and the impacts of odour conflicts. This plan is available through the publications office by phoning toll free 1-800-292-5697 or 780-427-0391 or download a copy from the Alberta Agriculture website.

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