House and Senate conferees on the appropriations bill funding U.S. EPA for fiscal 2010 approved an amendment yesterday to block agency efforts to require Clean Air Act permits for greenhouse gases emitted by livestock.

The amendment was agreed to last night as part of the $32.2-billion House–Senate conference package to fund EPA, the Interior Department and the Forest Service for fiscal 2010.

Both chambers had already adopted amendments to their versions of the bill that would have prevented EPA from using funds to implement rules requiring livestock producers to obtain Clean Air Act operating permits for the biological emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases.

The conference package includes the Senate provision, introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.); the House had adopted a similar amendment from Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.).

Some agriculture groups and farm-state lawmakers are concerned that if EPA moves to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the agency may impose a "cow tax" on livestock operations for the methane emissions that result from the flatulence and burps from their cows or pigs.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has repeatedly said the agency has no intention to pursue such regulations.

Click here to read the full conference agreement.

Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC., 202-628-6500