Feedlot pollution control permit deadline is Sept. 30

Feedlot pollution control permit deadline is Sept. 30 The South Dakota Departments of Agriculture and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are jointly urging producers with concentrated animal feeding operations larger than 1,000 animal units to seek coverage under the state's general water pollution control permit before Sept. 30. Permit coverage is necessary to satisfy federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements for large livestock operations.

Producers with concentrated animal feeding operations larger than 1,000 animal units should have already received this notification either from DENR directly or through the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association. These notifications urge producers to start seeking permit coverage by signing a Notice of Intent to Obtain Permit Coverage form. If thatsigned form is returned to DENR by Sept. 30, producers will have up to three years to design and construct a manure management system that can be approved by DENR.

"We know that many producers have been reluctant to move forward with permit applications and construction of manure management systems until news of the Farm Bill and possible funding was more certain," said Agriculture Secretary Larry Gabriel. "However, the permit requirements for large livestock operations are not going away. Now that President Bush has signed the Farm Bill to make federal funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) available to livestock producers, there will not be a better time to get started."

A concentrated animal feeding operation is one that confines and feeds 1,000 animal units or more for at least 45 days in any 12-month period. One thousand animal units are equal to 1,000 feeder cattle or dairy heifers; 700 mature dairy cattle; 2,500 finisher swine; 10,000 nursery swine; 2,130 production sows; a 270-sow farrow to finish unit; 500 horses; 10,000 sheep or lambs; 30,000 chickens; 55,000 turkeys; or 5,000 ducks or geese.

A manure management system is designed to protect both surface and ground water quality. A manure management system that is in compliance with the general permit is approved by DENR prior to construction, and typically consists of containment and storage of manure and runoff from open lots, a nutrient management plan to apply the manure to farm land to maximize its fertilizer use, and an operation and maintenance plan.

"EPA started telling DENR it wanted all large animal feeding operations permitted within one year, but we told them with the drought and its impact on the livestock industry that deadline was not realistic," said DENR Secretary Steve Pirner. "EPA agreed that if producers with large animal feeding operations sign and return this notice of intent to DENR by Sept. 30, EPA will consider those producers committed to and making progress in permitting their operations. If producers do not submit the notice of intent form to DENR by this deadline, EPA expects DENR to start taking enforcement actions against large feedlots that are not in compliance."

Concentrated animal feeding operation owners and operators who did not receive notification from either DENR or the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association should contact Kent Woodmansey or Jeanie Votava with DENR at 1-800-438-3367 for more information and to determine if they need to apply for general permit coverage. The notice of intent form can be obtained from http://www.

state.sd.us/denr/DES/Surfacewater/IPermits/NOIfl.pdf.

For more information on the state's general water pollution control permit, visit www.state.

sd.us/denr/DES/Surfacewater/feedlot.htm.

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