Action Alert: Comment on Animal Waste Management by 11/22

Industrial animal facilities produce an enormous amount of animal waste that pollutes and contaminates our waterways in North Carolina. NCDEQ is soliciting public comments regarding the rules governing animal waste management for the first time since their adoption more than a decade ago.

A proposed change to the existing rules involves extending the permit term length from the current 5 years to 8 years. Another proposed change will prevent the public from gaining information about poultry waste management.

Extending the length of the permit from 5 years to 8 will do two things.

  1. This change would decrease opportunities for public input.
  2. This will also lead to less frequent reviews of facilities allowing them more time to pollute until they have to clean up for permit renewal review.  Fewer reviews mean less accountability for facilities that regularly pollute.

Poultry Waste Management: The current provisions require poultry waste management companies to report annually the locations they picked up and delivered the waste. Poultry waste is full of heavy metals, nutrients and bacteria that pose a serious threat to human health. If this rule is changed, the public will no longer have access to information about waste disposal. If you don’t know where the waste is, how can you know how it will affect your community and environment?

DEQ should strengthen rules put in place to protect our environment and public health, not weaken them. Let DEQ know that you don’t want to see these provisions changed.

Submit Written Comments

Written comments on the proposed actions to the rules in 15A NCAC 02T and 15A NCAC 02U and/or associated regulatory impact analyses are encouraged to be submitted electronically to: 15ANCAC2T2URule_Comments@ncdenr.gov. The deadline for comments is November 22nd.

Sample Comments:

I’m opposed to the proposed repeal of 15A NCAC 02T .1404. Critical information regarding the fate of animal waste generated by agricultural operations should not be hidden from the public. North Carolina should not deprive citizens of access to manure hauler records. Please do not limit the public’s ability to educate and protect our communities from polluters.

I urge you to keep the requirements in place for agricultural operations to submit an annual report to DEQ explaining where and how much manure they disposed of.

In addition, Governmental transparency should be a priority for DEQ. Depriving citizens of the opportunity to provide public input limits the ability of the public to educate and protect communities from polluters. Therefore we urge you not to extend permits from 5 to 8 years.