A bill passed by the state legislature continues the building ban for another two years and calls for a legislative study of new manure-handling technologies.



When the North Carolina legislature passed a bill recently that extended the ban on construction of new hog barns for 24 months, there was almost no opposition, says Beth Anne Mumford, director of public affairs, North Carolina Pork Council.

Producers are just resigned to the action, and there has not been much interest in hog expansion anyway, she points out.

A two-year moratorium was first imposed in 1997 and continued for another two years in 1999. It was set to expire on July 1 but now is effective until July 1, 2003.

The bill also requests a legislative study of funding sources for improvements in animal waste management systems, funding of new systems and closure of inactive lagoons. It further directs the Department of Commerce, in coordination with other state agencies, to formulate a plan to identify and develop markets for byproducts of animal waste management systems by May 2002.

Also, the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources has developed a two-year plan for livestock operations, says Mumford. In short, it will follow Gov. Michael Easley's commitment to convert hog lagoons and sprayfields to what is being referred to as “environmentally superior technologies.”

South Carolina

Plans failed to extend South Carolina's moratorium on new hog farm building permits. The ban on new permits ends Aug. 9.

Bills for a one-year moratorium and a ban on lagoons failed to see House and Senate action after being proposed earlier this year.

Illinois

In what is being viewed by the Illinois Pork Producers Association as “a real victory for agriculture,” the state legislature passed a bill providing $3 million for value-added agricultural ventures. The bill would set aside funds for the development of pork processing plants and other activities.

Indiana

A new confined feeding rule for livestock has been approved by the Indiana Water Pollution Control Board and should become effective by late fall or early next year, says Terry Fleck, executive vice president, Indiana Pork Producers Association.

Some rule changes include:

  • Operations totaling 600 head or more of multiple combinations of livestock will now be regulated as confined feeding operations by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

  • Every five years, approval status for confined feeding operations must be renewed by the IDEM.

  • Producers must develop an emergency manure spill response plan, complete self-inspection reports, conduct soil and manure tests and keep more records.

  • Public input may be required for permit renewal if an operation has an illegal manure discharge in the last five years. The rule also applies to new operations with more than 12,000 head. Renewals will be automatic if there are no violations and the manure management plan has been updated.

  • New operations must have 180-day manure storage capacity and a well-defined set of construction setbacks.

  • Records of environmental management plans must be more detailed and available for inspection by IDEM.



The final rules give producers until Jan. 1, 2002, to be in compliance, says Fleck.

Minnesota

The state's feedlot regulations have been amended, according to the Minnesota Pork Producers Association (MPPA). Livestock producers with 1,000 or more animal units (1,000 lb. of animal equals 1 animal unit) who filed for an extension by June 1 were granted a three-month extension to Sept. 1 to complete an application for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is a group of state pollution agency officials and citizens charged with ensuring state environmental policy compliance and studying environmental issues.

The EQB plans to review “phased actions” and report their findings during the 2002 legislative session. The EQB defines phased action as feedlot expansions or new feedlot constructions that have the same ownership, are built within a three-year time span and are within a six-mile radius.

The MPPA charges this definition results in added permitting bureaucracy because it looks at ownership rather than the need for environmental protection.

Instead, the MPPA suggests defining phased action as those proposed by the same entity, with construction or expansion on an existing parcel of land or contiguous parcel.