Role of a Stakeholder Advisory Group in Developing C.A.F.O. Regulations in Georgia
Radcliffe, David E.
Risse, L. Mark
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In June, 1998 the State Environmental Protection Division (EPD) convened a group of approximately 90 stakeholders with an interest in regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's). The members represented public interest groups, producers, academia, and state and federal agencies. They were asked to consider revisions to the current requirements for National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for CAFO's and the creation of several size categories with escalating requirements. Currently permits are required for animal feeding operations with more than 1,000 animal units (AU) and a wet manure system. Four subcommittees were formed consisting of 12-14 members each: 1) size classification and regulatory system, 2) location restrictions, odors, and setbacks, 3) nutrient management and monitoring, and 4) design and administration. There was consensus to require nutrient management plans, training and certification of operators, and riparian buffers for operations larger than 300 AU. There was no consensus on whether a smaller size category starting at 100 AU should be required to register, or a large category starting at 2,000 AU should require more stringent measures. There was agreement for location restrictions for recharge areas, deep sands and wet soils, endangered species habitat, the 11 counties of Coastal Management Area, impaired streams, and wild and scenic rivers.