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The DEQ last week put out the follow press release, along with 5 documents, announcing that they propose to update the CAFO General Permit by adding in the provisions of the DEQ Director's Directive adding New and Expanding CAFOs to the list of facilities needing permits. The documents with all the details are available at a website listed in the press release.





Anne Woiwode, Director

Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter

109 East Grand River AvenueLansing, MI  48906

ph: 517-484-2372 fx: 517-484-3108 e: anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org

website:  http://michigan.sierraclub.org



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     Media Contact:  Robert McCann

March 26, 2004                                                                                   (517) 335-7217

                                                                               Resource Contact: Mike Bitondo

                                                                                                           (517) 335-3303


New CAFO General Permit Available for Public Comment, Two Public Hearings Scheduled


          Today, the Department of Environmental Quality released for public comment a new general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for new Large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), and announced public hearings on the permit.  This new general permit has been developed to complement DEQ Director Steven E. Chester’s February 27, 2004, Final Determination and Notice that directs certain new large CAFOs to get individual permits, and other new large CAFOs to obtain coverage under the general permit for new large CAFOs.  In order to constitute a valid authorization, the general permit must be complemented by a certificate of coverage issued by the DEQ to an individual facility.

            The general permit allows for the discharge of wastewater under very limited circumstances involving certain precipitation events and also lists prohibited discharges.

            Construction of manure and wastewater containment structures using a composite liner design is required, and the permit specifies the design factors.  Also included is a requirement to have a minimum of six months of storage available at the beginning of winter. 

            A Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) must be developed and implemented.   A CNMP describes the production practices, equipment, and structure(s)

that the CAFO will implement to sustain livestock in a manner that is both environmentally and economically sound.  The permit lists the minimum standards a CNMP must meet to prevent the discharge of pollutants to the waters of the state. 


          The general permit requires a field-by-field assessment to determine the suitability of each field for land application, and a field-specific spreading plan must be included in the annual report for the upcoming 12 months.  Certain land application timing and methods are specified in the permit, including setbacks, restrictions on land applications when the land is flooded, saturated with water, frozen or snow covered, or if one-half inch or more of rain is predicted by the National Weather Service. 

          Interested persons can review the permit and related documents through the DEQ’s website at http://www.michigan.gov/deq (click on “Permits,” “NPDES Individual Permit,” “Permits on Public Notice,” and scroll down the list to MIG010000), or contact the resource person above.

          Two public meetings and hearings are being held on the general permit:  April 26, 2004, at the Comfort Inn, 2590 Capital Avenue, Battle Creek, Michigan 49015, and on
April 28, 2004, at the Bay Valley Resort Hotel, 2470 Old Bridge Road, Bay City, Michigan 48706.  Each meeting and hearing is scheduled as follows:  The public meeting (questions & answers) will begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by a public hearing (public testimony) beginning no earlier than 8:00 p.m. 

          “These public meetings and hearings are being held to increase the public’s opportunity to provide input on the permit and to have meaningful dialogue with the DEQ.  They will also allow the regulated community to publicly participate in the permit process, should they choose to do so,” said Richard A. Powers, Chief, Water Division.  “This is another step forward for Michigan’s CAFO program, which will provide for the protection of public health and the environment, and to allow animal agriculture to remain a sustainable sector of Michigan’s economy.”

          The public comment period runs through May 7, 2004.


            Editor’s note:  DEQ news releases are available on the department’s Internet home page at www.michigan.gov/deq.