Amarillo researcher named to EPA national review panel

AMARILLO – Dr. Brent Auvermann, an agricultural engineer with both the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas AgriLife Research in Amarillo, has been appointed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board Animal Feeding Operations Panel.


The panel will review EPA methodologies for estimating air emissions from animal feeding operations, according to Dr. Vanessa Vu, director of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, in the invitation letter.

“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Auvermann’s outstanding expertise and experience in air quality monitoring at concentrated animal feeding operations regionally will be brought to bear for national benefit on the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board,” said Dr. John Sweeten, resident director for research at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Amarillo and Vernon.

Auvermann specializes in livestock air quality, manure management and water quality in his position at the center. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the division of agriculture at West Texas A&M University, Canyon.

His projects are aimed at dust and odor abatement, feedyard dust characterization, air pollution policy analysis, manure and carcass composting, feedyard and dairy manure management, feedyard hydrology and nonpoint source water pollution from rangeland and cropland.

Auvermann has authored more than 30 publications, papers and reports on livestock manure management, odor, dust and water quality.

The EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation is conducting this scientific review under the provisions of a consent agreement signed in 2005 between EPA and nearly 14,000 broiler, dairy, poultry and swine feeding operations.

The goals of the agreement are to reduce air pollution, monitor emissions from animal feeding operations, standardize methods for estimating emissions from these operations. In addition, it ensures that dairy, poultry and swine-feeding operations comply fully with the requirements of the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

The pollutants monitored under the agreement include: ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds, according to EPA information. As part of the agreement, EPA must develop standardized methods for estimating emissions from dairy, poultry and swine sectors.

Sweeten pointed out that the recent air quality monitoring data collected over a two-year period at a Guymon, Okla. swine farm by another Amarillo AgriLife Research faculty member. Dr. Ken Casey, assistant professor of air quality engineering, is included in the EPA database that will be considered in the Science Advisory Board’s review.



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