Public hearing to be held on manure management plans
by Karen Grimes, Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold five public hearings in December to receive input from the public on a proposal that would require submittal and approval of manure management plans before construction or expansion of unpermitted confinement feeding operations and the accompanying manure storage structures. The proposed rule change also would require simultaneous submittal of the plan to the county board of supervisors. Under current rule, unpermitted operations must submit a plan to the DNR and have an approved manure management plan prior to manure application, but not prior to construction.
The review and approval of these plans can help producers that arent large enough to need a construction permit in their planning and site evaluation process, said Wayne Gieselman, coordinator of the DNR animal feeding operations program. The review process can also pick up potential environmental problems at sites, saving the producer money. High-risk areas might include some alluvial aquifers, those sandy areas near streams and rivers, or areas of shallow soil depth above bedrock, he added.
The proposed changes to Chapter 65 rules are in response to a confinement feeding operation in Pottawattamie County where a producer put up a number of buildings, including two sets that were close enough together that they pushed the operation above the construction permitting threshold. Gieselman said, Both sets of these buildings sit empty today because, even if they are under separate ownership, they are still under common management and need a permit if their pig source is the same and they use a similar management contract.
The proposed rule change originated with a proposal that 16 state representatives sent to the Environmental Protection Commission requesting submission of manure management plans prior to construction of unpermitted confinement operations.
The public hearings will be held at these locations on the following dates:
Those who attend the hearing may submit comments orally or in writing, but they will be asked to give their names and addresses for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of the rule. Anyone who plans to attend a public hearing and has special requirements should contact the DNR with their specific needs.
Written or e-mailed comments on the proposed amendments can be made on or before January 5, 2001. Written comments should be directed to Amy Rossow, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034; fax (515) 281-8895. Comments also can be e-mailed to Amy.Rossow@dnr.state.ia.us
Current rule allows the DNR 60 days to approve or disapprove a manure management plan. Owners of confinement feeding operations other than small animal feeding operations must submit the plans. For existing facilities, the plans should have been submitted by November 15, 1999. Producers cannot apply manure without an approved plan.
Under current rules and the proposed rule change, small animal feeding operations would not have to submit manure management plans. Small operations are those that have an animal weight capacity of 400,000 pounds or less of beef, dairy, and veal cattle; or 200,000 pounds or less for all other species.
The construction permit threshold starts at 200,000 pounds of animal weight capacity if earthen manure storage is used (400,000 pounds for cattle). If formed storage is used, the permit threshold is 625,000 pounds for most species and 1,600,000 pounds for cattle. If manure is stored only in the dry form, the threshold is an animal weight capacity of 1,250,000 pounds for most species, and 4,000,000 for cattle.
More information on manure management plans and the requirements for manure application can be found on the DNR Web site at www.state.ia.us/government/dnr/organiza/epd/wastewtr/feedlot/feedlt.htm
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Page last updated October 5, 2004
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