Concern Over Draft CAFO Rules
The Washington Farm Bureau has expressed serious concerns over the Department of Ecology's Preliminary Draft Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation General Permit Proposal. As currently drafted, the proposal would impose severe challenges to the viability of the state's dairy industry. Despite the fact that Washington dairy farmers are good stewards who are already regulated under the state's Dairy Nutrient Management Act requirements, the proposal would for the first time appear to extend costly federal National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit requirements to hundreds of dairies and other livestock operations just because they have lagoon facilities. This action is based on Ecology's faulty presumption that all lagoons, even those designed to NRCS standards, are discharging pollutants into state waters. WFB is especially concerned that the costs of complying with the new requirements will put many small family-operated dairy farms out of business. WFB is seeking comments on the issue and will present a meeting on the 29th in Yakima according to WFB's Evan Sheffels.
SHEFFELS: They're going to have what's called Ag Water Advisory Committee where the Director of Ecology and her primary water quality staff come together with ag representatives including my vice-president, he'll be the co-chair of that. This is going to be one of the discussions they'll have.
If you have questions or comments on this issue be sure and contact the Washington Farm Bureau.
And that's Washington Ag Today. I'm Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.