|James B. Hunt, Jr., Governor||Bill Holman, Secretary|
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Date: October 14, 1999
|Contact: Tom Mather (919) 715-7408
EMC Adopts Permanent Animal Odor Control Rules
RALEIGH -- The N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC) today adopted permanent rules for controlling odors from animal operations. The final rules, approved by a 14-1 vote, are similar to temporary odor rules the EMC adopted in February, with changes that resulted from public comments.
The commission listened to comments it received from farmers, people living near animal operations, and environmental groups to develop permanent odor rules that should be more effective and practical than the temporary rules, according to Bill Holman, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
"These rules should help reduce odors from livestock operations without placing undue burdens or expenses on farmers," Holman said. "But the long-term solution is to convert animal operations to more effective waste-treatment systems that produce fewer odors."
The rules, which take effect July 1, 2000, establish required management practices that animal operations must follow, if they meet certain size thresholds and use liquid waste-disposal systems. Large hog operations account for most of the facilities that must comply with the rules, although some dairy and poultry farms also are affected.
Only those animal operations using liquid waste-treatment systems, such as lagoons and sprayfields, are covered by the rules. Regulated facilities must contain at least 250 hogs, 100 cattle, 75 horses, 1,000 sheep, or 30,000 chickens or turkeys. The rules do not apply to smaller facilities or those with dry litter operations, which include most poultry farms.
The state Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will enforce the rules, which aim to reduce objectionable odors beyond the boundaries of animal operations, phased-in by increasing levels of control. As a first step, all animal operations that meet the size thresholds and use liquid waste systems must comply with a list of required management practices. For example, farms should not operate sprayfields when winds could cause wastewater to drift onto neighboring properties.
As a second step, the DAQ will require farms to prepare detailed best management plans for controlling odors at all new or modified animal operations and existing facilities that cause objectionable odors. These best management plans will contain a list of low-cost actions for reducing odors. If objectionable odors persist, facilities will have to submit modified plans and could be required to install odor-control equipment, such as lagoon covers or "wash walls" that filter odors using barn ventilation systems.
During the summer, the EMC held four public hearings across the state to gauge public reaction to the proposed odor rules. Comments received from these hearings and written remarks prompted the commission to make a number of changes to the temporary rule. Notable changes in the final rule include:
More information about the odor rules and other air quality issues can be found at the DAQ's web site, http://daq.state.nc.us/.
|N.C. Division of Air Quality
Alan W. Klimek, Director
1641 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1641
|Tom Mather, Public Information Officer
(919)715-7408, FAX (919)715-7175