Department seeks comments on changes to CAFO rule

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments on recently proposed changes to the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO, rule. These changes would incorporate federal rule changes into the state regulations. The main change in the proposed regulation addresses manure management to protect water quality. The updated federal rules place more emphasis on proper management of animal manure both at the production site and on farmland where it is applied...

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, July 22, 2008 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments on recently proposed changes to the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO, rule. These changes would incorporate federal rule changes into the state regulations.

During this public comment period, the Missouri Clean Water Commission will hold a public hearing on the rule changes at its Sept. 7 meeting. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at The Q Hotel and Spa, 560 Westport Road, Kansas City. In addition, the department will accept written comments on the proposed rule changes through Sept. 17. Interested parties may submit comments to the Department of Natural Resources, Water Protection Program, Attention: Darrick Steen, Agricultural Unit Chief, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

The main change in the proposed regulation addresses manure management to protect water quality. The updated federal rules place more emphasis on proper management of animal manure both at the production site and on farmland where it is applied. Specifically, these changes would modify requirements for certain best management practices, including setbacks for land application and requirements for nutrient management plans. A nutrient management plan includes strategies producers will use to ensure that manure storage and manure application on farms do not adversely affect surface or groundwater quality and will help to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen runoff into streams.

The changes also include lowering the animal threshold number for swine weighing less than 55 pounds for Class 1C operations from 15,000 to 10,000 swine and expanding the inspection, recordkeeping and annual reporting requirements. Lowering the number of swine necessary to be classified as a Class 1C will require some existing nursery swine operations to obtain a permit. Inspection, recordkeeping and annual reporting requirements would be expanded to include all of the current federal requirements. Expanding these elements will help CAFO operators analyze decisions and test results from previous years and make appropriate adjustments to the nutrient management plan to maximize the nutrient benefits.

The proposed rule was published in the Missouri Registeron June 16. The proposed changes are available at www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/moreg/current/2008/v33n12/v33n12a.pdf#Page=8.

The Department of Natural Resources has established a CAFO Workgroup consisting of a variety of interested parties and has met with the stakeholders and reviewed the proposed rule amendment. The department will continue to hold workgroup meetings to discuss current and future rulemakings. For information on the concentrated animal feeding operation rule changes, please visit www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/cafo-workgroup.htm.

For more information about concentrated animal feeding operations or water quality in general, visit the department's Web site at www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/index.html or call 800-361-4827 or 573-751-1300.

Also see:
-- Department extends deadline for comments on stream use due to overwhelming public response

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