New manure legislation enacted
by Jeff Lorimor, extension agricultural and biosystems engineer, and Tracy Peterson, extension communications
In 1998 the Iowa Legislature passed a new manure law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 1999. Provisions of the new law include the following:
Effective Jan. 1, 1999
Manure management plans must be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources by operators of confinement units built after May 31, 1995. Only small animal feeding operations (SAFOs), defined as operations housing less than 200,000 pounds of swine or 400,000 pounds of cattle, are exempt. The DNR is required to approve or reject the plan within 60 days. If it fails to do so, the plan is automatically approved.
For information on writing a manure management plan, contact your local Extension or Natural Resource Conservation Service office. The completed plan is mailed to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, Wallace State Office Building, 900 East Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034.
Separation distances from neighbors were increased. They range from 750 to 2,500 feet and apply to all but SAFOs using formed storages. Minimum distance from land application areas of broadcast liquid manure to residences or public areas was set at 750 feet. This rule does not apply if the manure is injected or incorporated within 24 hours, or if it is produced by a SAFO.
The separation distance between irrigation areas and public areas or residences is 250 feet for low pressure center pivots that project downward at less than 25 psi, and the discharge is less than 9 feet above the soil surface. Distances for other irrigation systems are greater.
Cemeteries now are subject to the separation distances as public use areas.
Structures (buildings or manure storages) must be 500 feet from major water sources and 200 feet from watercourses. Major water sources are defined as those capable of supporting a floating vessel with a person for six months out of every 10 years. Watercourses are defined as bodies of water, or channels, having definite banks and a bed, except privately owned lakes and ponds. Structures must be 100 feet from the edge of road right-of-ways unless a continuous 20-foot-high windbreak is planted.
Commercial manure applicators must be certified. Certification is achieved by attending three hours of continuing education each year or completing an annual exam. Confinement site applicators are required to complete two hours of continuing education each year, or complete an exam every three years.
The DNR will adopt the certification rules, which set standards for handling, application, storage, and the potential effects on surface water and groundwater.
In addition, the laws passed in 1998 establish the state as the controlling authority for animal feeding operations. Complaints may be filed with the Department of Natural Resources or the county boards of supervisors. The DNR will investigate all complaints, with participation from the counties.
The indemnity fee that permitees must pay was doubled, and the maximum limit for the fund was increased from $1 million to $3 million.
There is no moratorium on earthen storage, no ban on winter application, no ban on irrigation application, and no certification required for operators of SAFOs.
For more information about the new Iowa manure laws, contact your local county extension office.
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Page last updated October 5, 2004
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