State Water Control Board Adopts Changes to Poultry Waste Permit

The State Water Control Board adopted final amendments to the Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) Regulation and General Permit for Poultry Waste Management at its December 9th meeting.

During the public comment period for the proposed regulatory changes, Virginia Farm Bureau issued an action alert opposing the proposed end-user reporting requirements and new reporting requirements for permitted poultry growers, as well as requesting that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) continue to reject a reporting requirement for the use of litter amendments. Thank you all to all Farm Bureau members who submitted comments or responded to the action alert!

Based on feedback during the public comment period, DEQ staff recommendations related to poultry waste end-user reporting were revised to address concerns that the new requirements would hurt market demand for poultry litter and hinder the transfer of litter from growers to other farmers. The original proposal would have required the end-user to report poultry waste transfer records, land application records, and supporting documents, including soil test reports, field maps, and nutrient management plans. This was modified to instead require the end-user to report poultry waste transfer records, the method used to determine the land application rate, and the county where the waste is being utilized.

In addition, litter amendment reporting requirements were not added.

Other major DEQ staff recommendations from the original proposal were adopted as follows:

Poultry Waste Storage, Site design, and Management

  • specifies that poultry waste may not be stored within 200 feet of an occupied dwelling, not on the permittee’s property unless the occupant of the dwelling signs a waiver of the storage site
  • addition of language to clarify which tools are to be used to determine the floodplain when siting poultry waste storage facilities
  • addition of a new special condition that allows specific options for addressing situations where poultry waste storage is threatened by emergencies such as fire or flood
  • addition of a new site management special condition related to managing impervious surfaces and poultry waste

Poultry Waste Transfer Recordkeeping

  • addition of “county” to the poultry waste transfer data recordkeeping items to be documented by the permitted grower, permitted end-user, permitted broker, and un-permitted end-user and un-permitted broker

Permitted Poultry Grower-Waste Transfer Reporting

  • addition of a new phased-in requirement for the permitted grower to submit poultry waste transfer records 

Poultry Waste Broker-Waste Transfer Reporting

  • amendment of dates for recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the broker
  • addition of a condition related to the original sources of commingled poultry waste

Commercial Poultry Processor Activities

  • addition of a new section to address activities performed by the commercial poultry processor on the contract grower’s farm related to poultry waste and nutrient management
  • requires the commercial processor to submit an operation and maintenance manual to DEQ that outlines proper procedures to be used while commencing with typical farming activities
  • requires the commercial processor clean up and properly dispose of materials that are spilled in relation to activities in which the commercial processor performs

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