Owners of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Alabama have a new streamlined permit registration process, thanks to standards approved in December.
The new state permit regulations, issued through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), require a qualified credentialed professional (QCP) inspection once every five years. All technical requirements, such as buffers, land application, recordkeeping and best management practices, are unchanged. Previously, inspections were required annually.
The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Russ Durrance said the new rules will ease regulatory burdens on the state’s 2,000-plus poultry farmers. The poultry industry has a $15 billion economic impact on Alabama annually.
“These changes have been a priority for the Federation’s State Poultry Committee for several years,” said Durrance, the organization’s Poultry Division director. “We’re glad to see this new permitting system go into effect. We enjoyed working with ADEM staff and Director Lance LeFleur; they heard our comments and took them into consideration when drafting the new state permit requirements.”
Registration renewal months for CAFO owners are unchanged. CAFO owners who submitted a traditional notice of registration in December 2020 and January 2021 will be contacted to determine if they would like to obtain coverage under the new inspection requirements.
While applying for the permit in 2021, registrants will receive coverage lasting from two to five years, with all subsequent permits lasting five years. A lottery system will determine this year’s permit coverage duration.
Initial registration and re-registration will require a QCP inspection within six months before submitting the notice of registration request. CAFO owners are still required to have a Waste Management System Plan and are encouraged to participate in continuing education.
Previous permits requiring annual inspections are still available and issued from ADEM. CAFO owners must register for a one-year permit during construction or expansion before transitioning to the new state permit.