MDE Hearing on General Discharge Permit for Animal Feeding Operations

State of Maryland Department of the Environment
Water Management Administration
Tentative Permit Determination and Notice of Public Hearing

The Department is proposing to reissue the State/NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) general discharge permit for animal feeding operations.

General Discharge Permit No. 09AF (Federal NPDES permit No. MDG01) for Animal Feeding Operations in Maryland is necessary to protect waters of the State and to meet federal requirements applicable to concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The renewal permit updates the previously issued General Permit No. 96AF to address additional animal feeding operations that are contributing or have the potential to contribute pollutants such as nutrients to the Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Bays, and their tributaries, and to other waters of the State including ground waters. The proposed permit will apply to facili1ies defined as animal feeding operations. All concentrated animal feeding operations, including any that discharge or plan to discharge to surface I water, must receive authorization to discharge to comply with both State and Federal regulations. The permit also regulates all other large animal feeding operations (including poultry growers with 100,000 ft2 of housing) as Maryland animal feeding operations (MAFOs). Poultry growers with more than 75,000 square feet of housing are not required to obtain permit coverage unless they discharge to surface waters of the state, but they must certify that they are complying with nutrient management and conservation plans. The permit requires CAFOs to implement comprehensive nutrient management plans written by certified nutrient management planners in accordance with Natural Resources Conservation Service standards. MAFOs are required to implement nutrient management plans and conservation plans, or CNMPs, all of which address site-specific conditions.

The permit plans address proper manure storage and land application of manure, matching the nutrients in the manure with the needs of the crops to be grown. Also addressed are proper mortality disposal, diversion of storm water from areas where animal manure is collected and stored, and other best management practices, such as analyses of manure and soil, buffers, setbacks from field ditches and other waters of the state where manure may not be applied, routine reporting, and a prohibition of manure application in inclement weather or on frozen or saturated soil. A permit fee applies only to CAFOs, and varies from $120 to $1200 annually depending upon the type and number of animals. Finally, submission of permit applications (notices of intent), nu1rient management plans and conservation plans to the Department for review and approval will include public participation provisions. The Department will hold three public hearings concerning 1he tentative determination as follows.

1) November 10, 2008 at 6 PM., Wor-Wic Community College”” Salisbury; Guerrien Hall Auditorium at Route 50 and Walston Switch Rd.
2) November 12, 2008 at 6 PM., Chesapeake College at Wye Mills; First Floor Theatre In the Todd Performing Arts Center, 1000 College Circle.
3) November 13, 2008 at 11 AM., Frederick; City Hall Board Room, 101 N. Court St.

Any hearing impaired person may request an interpreter at the hearing by contacting Tyrone Hill, Office of Fair Practices at (410) 537-3964 at least five working days prior to the scheduled hearing date. TTY users should contact the Maryland Relay Service at 1 800-201-7165.

All information supporting this tentative determina1ion, including the draft permit, may be reviewed by contacting Sheila Franklin at the Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, at sfranklin@mde.state.md.us or at the above address, or by telephone at 410-537-3599 to make an appointment during the hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Copies of the document may be obtained at a cost of $ 0.36 per page. The draft permit can also be viewed on MDE’s website at www.mde.state.md.us.

Persons who wish to present information regarding the tentative determination may speak at the public hearing, submit written comments at the public hearing or submit a written statement to the Department no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, 2008. All comments will be considered in making a final determination, and should be addressed to the Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, 1800 Washington Blvd,., Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1708, Attn.: Sheila Franklin.

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