Livestock Producers Need To Be Aware of Construction Regulations
John Church, Natural Resource Educator, and Jim Endress, Farm
Business Educator, Rockford Extension Center, 815-397-7714
Most Illinois livestock producers have heard something about
new state regulations adopted in the 1990s, which govern
livestock waste management and related construction. However,
it has become rather evident since the implementation of the act
and its more recent amendments, that many producers are not adequately
aware of the guidelines that may apply to their farm or the procedures
to follow to comply with the regulations. Recent meetings with
producers, agency staff, and legislators have indicated there
is still a lack of understanding of the rules, their complexity
and how to comply.
One of the main points that producers need to understand is that
if their current facility is to be remodeled or a new one built,
they probably will need a permit from the Illinois Department
of Agriculture (IDOA), regardless of the size of the operation.
Secondly, it is very important for producers to allow sufficient
time between applying for a permit and for construction to start.
A "Notification of Intent" to construct application
must be filed with IDOA. Producers should be planning well ahead,
probably at least six months to a year as a minimum, to help insure
their desired project start time. Although response time from
IDOA officials has been good, the complete permitting process
can take at least several months. Some projects may require public
hearings before a permit is issued. Currently, IDOA averages about
10 applications per month. Some of the rules application
is based on total number of animal units in the operation. However,
another point for producers to remember is that the number of
animal units is based on a cumulative number of animals at all
their facility sites, not just at the location of new construction
or remodeling. Also, for producers required to have a livestock
waste management plan, the plan now must include phosphorous as
well as nitrogen management.
These are just a few general issues, but producers should become
familiar with how the regulations affect their individual operations.
In some cases, the rules may protect farmers from unnecessary
nuisance complaints. Producers with questions or desiring a permit
or a complete set of rules can contact the IDOA Bureau of Environmental
Programs, State Fairgrounds, PO Box 19281, Springfield, IL 62794.
The main point to remember is to plan well ahead to investigate
and apply for a permit, if needed, to avoid frustrating and costly