Public comments accepted through Feb. 7
Two general permits that clearly describe the technical programs to reduce the potential for water pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations are available for public review and comment through Feb. 7, 2016, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced recently.
"DEC developed the draft CAFO general permits through a cooperative effort, with input from the agricultural community, academic experts, federal guidance and environmental stakeholders," Seggos said. "The permits seek to effectively protect the environment while creating practical, cost-effective solutions for working farms."
These draft concentrated animal feeding operations general permits will replace the existing permits scheduled to expire in June. While the two general permits have been in place for many years, they must be renewed every five years to ensure the requirements of state and federal laws, as well as respond to concerns from stakeholders. The draft permit provides certainty for farmers by clarifying definitions of certain terms.
Over the past 18 months, DEC, the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Cornell University experts, farmers, civic groups and environmental parties held a series of meetings to develop the two draft permits.
In New York, CAFOs generally are farms that house 300 or more dairy cows, with associated livestock operations. There are more than 500 CAFOs in the state. CAFO permits are designed so that owners and operators of CAFOs can operate their farms in accordance with state and federal environmental laws.
DEC's draft general permits for CAFOs are available at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6285.html.
Comments must be submitted in writing no later than Feb. 7 to:
NYS DEC - Division of Water
625 Broadway, 4th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-3505
Email: [email protected]