Farmers Federation Opposes Proposed CAFO Fee Increases
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has announced plans to increase Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) registration fees.
Additionally, ADEM officials announced intentions to require farmers to pay an annual registration fee. Those fees previously had been offset by a line item in the state’s General Fund budget.
ADEM officials held a public hearing to accept testimony and written comments about the proposed fee increase Nov. 12 in Montgomery.
The Alabama Environmental Management Commission (EMC), a group of seven members appointed by the governor, is scheduled to meet Dec. 18 and is expected to vote on the proposed fee increase.
“The Alabama Farmers Federation is working closely with other agricultural stakeholders, ADEM officials and legislators to minimize the impact to livestock producers,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “Our state Dairy, Pork and Poultry committees have been engaged in providing clear direction on this important issue.”
The Federation submitted written comments opposing the fee increase.
Since the state’s CAFO program began in 1999, registration fees for farmers were offset by money earmarked in the General Fund budget. The 2016 General Fund budget included a line item of $280,000 for the CAFO program. That’s $100,000 less than previous years.
ADEM officials say this year’s funding is inadequate to administer the program and are planning to no longer suspend CAFO registration fees.
To view the proposed ADEM fee changes, visit tinyurl.com/CAFOFees.
Farmers with questions about the CAFO proposals should contact Guy Hall, Federation Dairy, Pork and Poultry divisions director at GHall@AlfaFarmers.org or (334) 612-5181.
Visit tinyurl.com/EMCmembers for a list of EMC members.