§4858. Medium farm operation permits

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/06/215/04858
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Title

06

:
Agriculture






Chapter

215

:
AGRICULTURAL WATER QUALITY






Subchapter

005
:
REGULATION OF MEDIUM AND SMALL FARM OPERATIONS










 

§

4858. Medium farm operation permits

(a)

Authorization to operation. No person shall operate a medium farm without

authorization from the Secretary pursuant to this section. Under exceptional

conditions, specified in subsection (d) of this section, authorization from the

Secretary may be required to operate a small farm.

(b) Rules;

general and individual permits. The Secretary shall establish by rule, pursuant

to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, requirements for a "general permit" and

"individual permit" to assure that medium and small farms generating

animal waste comply with the water quality standards of the State.

(1)

"General" and "individual" permits issued under this

section shall be consistent with rules adopted under this section, shall

include terms and conditions appropriate to each farm size category and each

farm animal type as defined by section 4857 of this title and shall meet

standards at least as stringent as those established by federal regulations for

concentrated animal feeding operations. Such standards shall address waste

management, waste storage, development of nutrient management plans, carcass

disposal, and surface water and groundwater contamination, plus recordkeeping,

reporting, and monitoring provisions regarding such matters to ensure that the

terms and conditions of the permit are being met. The groundwater contamination

rules adopted by the Secretary under this section shall include a process under

which the Agency shall receive, investigate, and respond to a complaint that a

farm has contaminated the drinking water or groundwater of a property owner.

(2) The rules

adopted under this section shall also address permit administration, public

notice and hearing, permit enforcement, permit transition, revocation, and

appeals consistent with provisions of sections 4859 and 4861 of this title and

subchapter 10 of this chapter.

(3) Each general

permit issued pursuant to this section shall have a term of no more than five

years. Prior to the expiration of each general permit, the Secretary shall

review the terms and conditions of the general permit and may issue subsequent

general permits with the same or different conditions as necessary to carry out

the purposes of this subchapter. Each general permit shall include provisions

that require public notice of the fact that a medium farm has sought coverage

under a general permit adopted pursuant to this section. Each general permit

shall provide a process by which interested persons can obtain detailed

information about the nature and extent of the activity proposed to receive

coverage under the general permit. The Secretary may inspect each farm seeking

coverage under the general permit at any time, but no less frequently than once

every three years.

(c)(1) Medium

farm general permit. The owner or operator of a medium farm seeking coverage

under a general permit adopted pursuant to this section shall certify to the

Secretary within a period specified in the permit, and in a manner specified by

the Secretary, that the medium farm does comply with permit requirements

regarding an adequately sized and designed manure management system to

accommodate the wastes generated and a nutrient management plan to dispose of

wastes in accordance with required agricultural practices adopted under this

chapter and current U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient management

standards. Any certification or notice of intent to comply submitted under this

subdivision shall be kept on file at the Agency of Agriculture, Food and

Markets. The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, in consultation with

the Secretary of Natural Resources, shall review any certification or notice of

intent to comply submitted under this subdivision with regard to the water

quality impacts of the medium farm for which the owner or operator is seeking

coverage, and, within 18 months of receiving the certification or notice of

intent to comply, shall verify whether the owner or operator of the medium farm

has established that there will be no unpermitted discharge to waters of the

State pursuant to the federal regulations for concentrated animal feeding

operations. If upon review of a medium farm granted coverage under the general

permit adopted pursuant to this subsection, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food

and Markets determines that the permit applicant may be discharging to waters

of the State, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the Secretary

of Natural Resources shall respond to the discharge in accordance with the

memorandum of understanding regarding concentrated animal feeding operations

under section 4810 of this title.

(2) The owner or

operator of a small farm may seek coverage under the medium farm general permit

adopted pursuant to this section by certifying to the Secretary, in a manner

specified by the Secretary, that the small farm complies with the requirements

and conditions of the medium farm general permit.

(d) Medium and

small farms; individual permit. The Secretary may require the owner or operator

of a small or medium farm to obtain an individual permit to operate after

review of the farm's history of compliance, application of required

agricultural practices, the use of an experimental or alternative technology or

method to meet a State performance standard, or other factors set forth by

rule. The owner or operator of a small farm may apply to the Secretary for an

individual permit to operate under this section. To receive an individual

permit, an applicant shall in a manner prescribed by rule demonstrate that the

farm has an adequately sized and designed manure management system to

accommodate the wastes generated and a nutrient management plan to dispose of

wastes in accordance with required agricultural practices adopted under this

chapter and current U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient management standards,

including setback requirements for waste application. An individual permit

shall be valid for no more than five years. Any application for an individual

permit filed under this subsection shall be kept on file at the Agency of

Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets,

in consultation with the Agency of Natural Resources, shall review any

application for a permit under this subsection and, prior to issuance of an

individual permit under this subsection, shall issue a written determination

regarding whether the permit applicant has established that there will be no

unpermitted discharge to waters of the State pursuant to federal regulations

for concentrated animal feeding operations. If, upon review of an application for

a permit under this subsection, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets

that the permit applicant may be discharging to waters of the State, the

Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the Secretary of Natural

Resources shall respond to the discharge in accordance with the memorandum of

understanding regarding concentrated animal feeding operations under subsection

4810(b) of this title. The Secretary of Natural Resources may require a medium

or small farm to obtain a permit under 10 V.S.A. § 1263 pursuant to federal

regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations. Coverage of a medium

farm under a general permit adopted pursuant to this section or an individual

permit issued to a medium or small farm under this section is rendered void by

the issuance of a permit to a farm under 10 V.S.A. § 1263.

(e) A person

required to obtain a permit or coverage under this section shall submit an

annual operating fee of $1,500.00 to the Secretary. The fees collected under

this section shall be deposited in the Agricultural Water Quality Special Fund

under section 4803 of this title. (Added 2003, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff.

June 3, 2004; amended 2005, No. 78, § 11, eff. June 24, 2005; 2015, No. 39, §

14; 2015, No. 64, §§ 7, 13.)
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