EPA delays new rules for farmers with grain elevators

The Environmental Protection Agency is delaying plans to update decades-old emissions standards for grain elevators that farmers use to scoop up grain and drop it inside a silo.

The EPA proposed new air quality standards for grain elevators in July, which have not been updated since 1984, but said Monday it is extending the comment period through Nov. 6. 

The new rules would expand the performance standards to include any grain elevator that can hold 1 million bushels or more of grain. Previously, grain elevators that held fewer than 2.5 million bushels were exempt from the rules. 

"A 'grain storage elevator' means any grain elevator located at any wheat flour mill, wet corn mill, dry corn mill (human consumption), rice mill or soybean oil extraction plant with permanent storage capacity of at least 1 million bushels," the agency wrote.

The delay comes after industry groups have complained about the new rules.

The new rules are part of an 8-year review of new source performance standards under the Clean Air Act.