Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter

Fall 2004

DNR establishes technical workgroups

by Bryan Bunton, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

In an effort to understand complex technical issues involved in air quality associated with animal feeding operations, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) established three technical workgroups in the areas of best management practices, ambient air modeling methodology, and air emissions characterization. The workgroups started meeting in February 2004. The mission of the technical workgroups is to determine air emissions characterization tools and techniques, ambient air modeling methodologies, and best management practices that can be used to estimate and mitigate air quality effects that may occur as a result of air emissions from animal feeding operations, and to provide this information to the public.

For the workgroups, DNR solicited participation from organizations with working knowledge of agricultural practices and technical expertise. Workgroup participants include U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Iowa State University, University of Iowa, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Economic Development, National Soil Tilth Laboratory, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Iowa State Association of Counties, Izaac Walton League, Iowa Air Emissions Assistance Program, the Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club, and DNR. Agricultural commodity groups and industrial associations also were invited to participate, but declined.

The charge of the best management practices workgroup is to identify practices to mitigate emissions, determine the effectiveness of the practices, and consider additional parameters such as associated cost, availability, and potential environmental impacts. The group is focusing on practices that reduce hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, dust and odor. The emissions characterization workgroup is determining the source of pollutants, determine which source(s) contribute the most to the atmosphere, and find emissions factors that accurately characterize emissions. Hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, dust, methane and odor are all being considered. The modeling workgroup is determining which models, if any, could accurately predict air pollutant concentrations downwind from an animal feeding operation and to consider the cost, user skill, and equipment needed to run such a model.

Since a critical component to the workgroup activities is to provide information to the public, the DNR plans to issue a comprehensive final report in December, 2004. The report will contain relevant information as well as outline any conclusions and recommendations reached by the three groups. For additional information on the technical workgroups, please visit the DNR Air Quality Bureau’s animal feeding operations Web page located at http://www.iowadnr.com/air/afo/afo.html

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Iowa Manure Matters: Odor and Nutrient Management is published by Iowa State University Extension, with funding support from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service through Cooperative Agreement No. 74-6114-8-22. To subscribe or change the address of a current subscription, write to Angela Rieck-Hinz, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011-1010 or call 515-294-9590, fax 515-294-9985 or email: amrieck@iastate.edu. Please indicate you are inquiring about the Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter. The newsletter's coordinators are Angela Rieck-Hinz, extension program specialist, Department of Agronomy, Wendy Powers, environmental extension specialist, Department of Animal Science, and Robert Burns, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; the editor is Jean McGuire, the subscription manager is Rachel Klein, the production designer is Beth Kroeschell, and the web page designer is Liisa Jarvinen.

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