Air emissions of ammonia and methane from livestock operations: Valuation and policy options
The animal husbandry industry is a major emitter of ammonia (NH3), which is a precursor of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) —arguably, the number-one environment-related public health threat facing the nation. The industry is also a major emitter of methane (CH4), which is an important greenhouse gas (GHG). We present an integrated process model of the engineering economics of technologies to reduce NH3 and CH4 emissions at dairy operations in California. Three policy options are explored: PM offset credits for NH3 control, GHG offset credits for CH4 control, and expanded net metering policies to provide revenue for the sale of electricity generated from captured methane (CH4) gas. Individually these policies vary substantially in the economic incentives they provide for farm operators to reduce emissions. We report on initial steps to fully develop the integrated process model that will provide guidance for policy-makers.