Environment

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Author(s): Copeland, J.D. and J. Simms Hipp.
Publication Date: January 1, 1994
Reference: National Center for Agricultural Law Research and Information. 103p.
Country: United States

Summary:

Using a question – answer form, the document goes through all aspects of the U.S.regulations and states regulations having an impact on Iowa livestock producers. At the Federal level, the Clean Water Act (CWA) consider water pollution under two categories: point sources and nonpoint sources. The point sources are regulated by the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) which controls by permit emissions the discharges of pollutants from a point source. Most states administer the NPDES. To the NPDES permits may be added water quality standards specific to a state that are more restrictive; the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) may review the permit emitted and in some cases disapprove it. CWA also enacted several provisions to address the non-point source pollution problems affecting rivers, lakes, and wetlands. The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) requires each state containing coastal zone (coastal areas including the Great Lakes waters) to adopt a management program for those areas. The Clean Air Act (CAA) has currently no application for the odor problems and thus considered as nuisance, they are handled under state common law. Right-to-Farm Laws provide some protection concerning nuisance lawsuits but not for pollution suits in general. Cases are presented where the right-to-farm laws offered virtually no protection (ex: introduction of a new livestock production unit particularly with the introduction of swine or poultry production). In Iowa, the Department of Natural Resources(DNR) and the Iowa Environment Protection Commission (EPC) regulate the environment, are responsible for the preparation of plans and programs for abatement, control and prevention of the pollution. DNR will deliver construction permits to allow the construction of waste control systems for a facility. All operations that use anaerobic lagoons as part of the waste control systems and all operations that use earthen waste storage other than anaerobic lagoons and have a capacity of more than 500 butcher and breeding swine (over 55 LB) which represent a total of 200 animal units have to ask for a construction permit. In some case construction permits are required by DNR and those other operation are than notified. Open feedlots will need operation permits when the capacity exceeds 2,500 butcher and breeding swine (over 55 LB) or 1,000 total animal units unless the proof is made that no waste from the feedlot is discharged into a stream or other state water. For new or expanding anaerobic lagoon facilities or earthen waste manure basins from the neighbor property are: 380 m (1,250 ft) for operations of less than 283,500 kg (625,000 LB) live animal weight (for other species than beef cattle) or 570 m (1,875 ft) when the live animal weight is superior to the values given. Guidelines for land application of waste are not mandatory and are based on acceptable levels of nitrogen and phosphorus application. No manure application should be done during frozen or snow covered soils, on land areas within 60 m (200 ft) of and draining into: a stream, surface or buried conduit for a tile line, sinkhole, shoreline of a lake or pond and well with an open surface inlet. Regulations also control carcasses disposal. Zoning ordinances are being adopted by local governments for development zoning when land use is dedicated to agriculture and the most popular features about those ordinances are the size of the production units, the definition of “farm” and the acreage associated with it and also the definition of commercial feedlots or production.

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