Thursday, June 21, 2012

Indiana's New Confined Feeding Regulations

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEM) new Confined Feeding Operation (CFO) regulations go into effect on July 1, 2012.  As a result of National Pork Producers v. EPA, most of Indiana's regulated Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) will be moving from the state's CAFO program to the state's CFO program.  This makes the new CFO regulations especially significant, as it signals a transition from a federal (CAFO) program to a state (CFO) regulation.  Does that mean that those new CFO permitted farms will no longer face strict regulations?  Not hardly.  The new CFO regulations ratchet up environmental regulations in a number of ways:

1. Winter Manure Application Restrictions. The new regulations limit spreading of manure on frozen or snow covered ground. There are a couple of exceptions: in emergencies (but not if man-made) and if the CFO was originally permitted with 120 days of winter storage.

2 .  Mortality Management.  The CFO regulations requires that CFOs manage mortalities and comply with State Board of Animal Health regulations 345 IAC 7-7.  In addition, no mortality liquids may come in contact with waters of the state and no mortalities may be disposed of in manure storage structures.

3.  Phosphorus Based Land Application.  The days of applying manure based upon the nitrogen needs of the upcoming crop are coming to an end.  The new CFO regulations limit application based upon phosphorus content.   Livestock farms must monitor phosphorus levels on cropland to assure that they do not exceed 200 parts per million (ppm).  IDEM developed the following chart establishes the gradual phase in of "P" based land applications:

4.  Groundwater Monitoring.  The new CFO regulations contain specific provisions that allow IDEM to require groundwater monitoring on a case by case basis.  Sampling results must be periodically reported to IDEM and farmers must self report if they determine that their groundwater samples show a "statistically significant" deviation from prior samples.

5.  Transportation of Manure.  In the past, if manure was spilled or tracked onto a public road or highway, the matter was one for state or local law enforcement.  Now, IDEM regulations prohibit "dumping or allowing the leakage or drainage of manure from a manure transfer vehicle onto . . . public thoroughfares or into waters of the state."

CAFOs wishing to move into the CFO program must file their paperwork by June 29, 2012.  IDEM presumes all other CFOs will be covered by the new rule beginning on July 1, 2012. 

For more information, please call or email me.

By Todd Janzen

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