Thursday, March 29, 2018

DEP Issues New General Permit Form, Fees For Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has released a new general permit form, PAG-12, for NPDES water quality permit coverage to persons operating concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Pennsylvania.
The previous PAG-12 Permit was set to expire on March 31, 2018.  PAG-12 generally covers livestock operations of 300 animal equivalent units or more.
“This updated PAG-12 will streamline and clear up some requirements for farmers, while also improving water quality by strengthening protections for manure storage and leak detection,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
Notable changes to PAG-12 include:
-- Electronic submission of Annual Reports, when required by DEP;
-- Annual inspections of earthen storage facilities and sampling of leak detection systems;
-- Changing the reporting period from “calendar year” to “crop year” (October 1 – September 30); and
-- Updated forms to comply with EPA requirements and elimination of duplicative and conflicting requirements.
The new permit includes a $500 annual Notice of Intent (NOI) fee starting no earlier than January 1, 2020, but has eliminated the proposed initial NOI fee of $500 for new CAFOs. The annual fees would be paid to the Clean Water Fund for the purpose of supporting DEP’s pollution control efforts.
DEP held a 30-day comment on proposed changes to the new permit from January 20 – February 20, 2018. All comments received during the comment period and DEP’s responses to those comments are included as part of the PAG-12 materials.
Other changes are described in the fact sheet for the PAG-12 General Permit, which can be found in the DEP eLibrary with the other PAG-12 materials.

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