Air

How will this factory farm affect the air around you?

Agriculture is exempt from any industrial air quality standards that have been set across the country. Air emissions from factory farms usually come from one of three main sources: the ventilation stacks of the barns, the manure lagoon and from the manured fields. In addition to odor, factory farms release dangerous and toxic compounds into the air, such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane and volatile organic compounds. Most provinces have established setback distances as guidelines for ILOs near residences and community buildings, however research shows that odor plumes can travel well over five kilometers, depending on the atmospheric conditions. In addition, the nitrous oxide and methane emitted by factory farms are powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

To assess what kind of impact the factory farm will have on the air, find out:

  • the direction and speed of prevailing winds in the area
  • frequency and occurrences of air inversions
  • if the manure storage facility will be covered? (type of cover)
  • will bio-filters be installed on the stacks of the barn
  • will liquid manure be injected into the soil and incorporated
  • how often will barns be washed?
  • will the operation monitor air emissions?
  • other advanced technologies proposed (bio-gas recovery)