On April 18, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission adopted new rules for confinement operations concerning obtaining construction permits, expiration dates on construction permits and new recordkeeping requirements. The IPPA would like producers to be especially aware of these changes and the dates in which they will go into effect.

Expiration date for construction permits
This rule establishes an expiration date for completing construction under a construction permit. Under current DNR rules, a construction permit expires if construction is not started within one year after the permit is issued. Under the new rule that goes into effect on June 15, a construction permit issued after that date also expires if construction is not completed within four years after the date the permit is issued. Construction permits issued on or before June 15 will expire if construction is not completed by June 15, 2012. The DNR may grant an extension of time to these requirements if the applicant can show the extension is “necessary or justified.”

Obtaining construction permits
The current DNR rule on animal capacity thresholds for obtaining a construction permit was amended to coincide with legislation adopted in 2002 that changed thresholds from animal weight capacity to animal units. In addition, the rule provides additional details, including requiring producers to obtain DNR approval for repairs or modifications to a manure storage structure to determine if a permit is needed. This rule also amended the requirements for determining groundwater table levels for in-ground manure storage structures. This rule is scheduled to go into effect on June 15, 2005.

New recordkeeping requirements
DNR also adopted the following rule on recordkeeping requirements for manure management plans (the new rule language is in italics):

DNR Rule 65.17(13)”e.” “Effective August 25, 2005, date(s) and application rate(s) of commercial nitrogen and phosphorus on fields that received manure.

However, if the date and application rate information is for fields which are not owned for crop production or which are not rented or leased for crop production by the person required to keep records pursuant to this subrule, an enforcement action for noncompliance with a manure management plan or the requirements of this subrule shall not be pursued against the person required to keep records pursuant to this subrule or against any other person who relied on the date and application rate in records required to be kept pursuant to this subrule, unless that person knew or should have known that nitrogen or phosphorus would be applied in excess of maximum levels set forth in paragraph 65.17(1)”a.” If manure is applied to fields not owned, rented or leased for crop production by the person required to keep records pursuant to this subrule, that person shall obtain from the person who owns, rents or leases those fields a statement specifying the planned commercial nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer rates to be applied to each field receiving the manure.”

To summarize, under this new rule which goes into effect on August 25, 2005, DNR cannot bring an enforcement action for a violation of an MMP for over application of nitrogen or phosphorus (under MMP’s subject to the Phosphorus Index) on land farmed by someone else unless the producer “knew or should have known” that commercial nitrogen or phosphorus would result in total applications of nitrogen or phosphorus exceeding the limits in the MMP. The producer must obtain a statement from the farmer specifying the planned commercial nitrogen or phosphorus applications.

Look for additional information and guidance on these issues in future Iowa Pork Producer magazines and membership newsletters. For more information, please contact the IPPA at 800-372- 7675 or info@iowapork.org.