NPDES News - January 2012

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Jan. 30, 2012

2012 records calendar available online

The 2012 monthly calendar for recording daily, weekly, and monthly inspections is available for printing from the feedlot program website. The NPDES permit requires daily inspection of water lines, weekly inspection of runoff controls, liquid manure storage areas, and depth markers, and monthly inspection of perimeter tiles. The calendar also includes reminders for manure management, dates of major livestock trade shows, and contact information for state and county feedlot staff.
2012 calendar cover

Annual reports due March 1

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit annual reports are due at MPCA regional offices by March 1. A quick link to the form is located on the MPCA feedlot program webpage. In addition to updates on livestock numbers and manure management, starting this year the report must include land application records.

Annual report must include land application records

Owners and operators of NPDES-permitted livestock facilities are reminded that all land application records of non-transferred manure for the period of Sept. 1, 2010 to Aug. 31, 2011 are required to be submitted with the annual report due March 1. Records should be submitted on an agency-approved record keeping form such as those in the current MPCA Excel spreadsheet manure planner, or forms included with the annual report form. Also, for manure that is transferred ownership, list the amounts transferred on a monthly basis. Information on any emergency applications of liquid manure on frozen or snow-covered soils must also be reported. For more information and instructions go to the annual report form.

annual report

Use MPCA spreadsheet for manure management plans

The Manure Management Plan computer spreadsheet developed by the MPCA offers an efficient, useful tool for developing a MMP that values the benefits of manure and meets state requirements (Minn. Rule ch. 7020.2225). The spreadsheet (about 8 mb) can be downloaded from the MPCA feedlot program manure and nutrient management webpage. A MMP submitted to the MPCA for review must utilize this program so that an efficient review can be completed as quickly as possible.

The spreadsheet can be used for all sizes and types of facilities to create a MMP that meets all state requirements. In addition, for facilities with a NPDES permit, the spreadsheet assists in developing a MMP that meets all federal requirements as well. The MMP spreadsheet will also create records of manure application that can be submitted when requested by the MPCA or county and also submitted with the annual report required for those facilities with a NPDES permit.

If you discover errors in the spreadsheet please report them to George Schwint, MPCA feedlot engineer, 320-441-6971, Check the webpage periodically to learn if any updates to the spreadsheet have been made since you last downloaded a copy.

Follow setback rules when applying manure during winter

Manure can be a valuable resource, or a pollutant. During winter land applications, preventing manure from becoming a pollutant can be especially challenging. The risk of pollution increases with applications near waters. Those who are land applying manure this winter are reminded that minimum setbacks are required by state law, and that for NPDES permit holders liquid applications are prohibited except for “emergency applications."
A minimum 300-foot setback from surface waters applies to all manure spread onto frozen or snow-covered soils. Manure may not be applied within 300 feet of a lake, stream, ditch, tile intake, or wetland. A 300-foot setback can also be used to meet requirements for wells, mines, quarries and sinkholes. Minimum rates per acre and other permit conditions may also apply if the facility has a feedlot permit. Also, avoiding winter applications, especially during February, March or April when the risk of melting and runoff is the highest, can help reduce the risk of pollution. If you need more specific information on winter requirements please refer to the feedlot permit for the facility or your regional feedlot office.
winter land app

Rule 7020 retains SDS permit for large CAFOs

The 2011 Minnesota Legislature enacted a law change governing the issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for large feedlots. Previously, the law required NPDES/SDS permits for feedlots with 1,000 animal units or more, or that meet the federal definition of a Large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). The revised state law (MN Stat. 116.07, Subd. 7c) now defers to the federal rule (40 CFR), which requires an NPDES permit only for CAFOs that discharge or propose to discharge. Non-permitted CAFOs will be held to a zero discharge standard. However, a facility still may retain its NPDES/SDS permit. However, Minnesota Rule 7020 (.0405, Subp. 1A) retains the requirement to obtain a State Disposal System permit for feedlots or manure storage areas capable of holding 1,000 animal units or more. An update of the rule is necessary to clarify which sites are required to have permit coverage. For more information, see the factsheet, "State Disposal System permit for large feedlots" on the MPCA feedlot webpage.

PCA leads inter-agency tour of large livestock operations

An inter-agency tour Dec. 1 offered close-up views of a 6,000-cow dairy and 6,000-head cattle barn under construction. The Pollution Control Agency organized the tour to advance outreach and communication with the livestock industry and with related state agencies.
“We want to see operations first-hand. We want to get a chance to make that connection, person-to-person so we can understand each other better,” said MPCA Commissioner Paul Aasen. The group visited East Dublin Dairy, near Kerkhoven; Revier Cattle Company and Christensen Farms, near Olivia. A week later, a similar group toured Skyview Dairy near Hutchinson.   
Participants on the Dec. 1 tour included:
Pollution Control Agency: Commissioner Aasen, Deputy Commissioner John Linc Stine; Assistant Commissioners Michelle Beeman and Rebecca Flood; Regional Manager Gaylen Reetz; and Communications Director Dave Verhasselt.
Dept. of Agriculture: Assistant Commissioner Matt Wohlmann.
Board of Water and Soil Resources: Director John Jaschke.
Board of Animal Health: State Veterinarian Bill Hartmann; Carl Denkinger, ag specialist; Dale Lauer, Willmar poultry testing lab.
feedlot tour