Michigan CAFO’s must wait for new certificates


Michigan CAFO’s must wait for new certificates

Operators of Michigan’s largest livestock operations will have to wait a while to receive their Certificates of Coverage for the newly-revised general CAFO permit. 

Nick Assendelft with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy says, “Based on the COVID-19 issue that’s changed a lot of the ways we’re able to do things, so we have decided to hold off for 60-days on issuing those certificates of coverage.”

Assendelft tells Brownfield the new general permits were finalized before the April 1st deadline, and about 260 livestock operators will have to wait to receive their paperwork.

Assendelft says there are some changes in the CAFO regulations, including required electronic quarterly reporting of land-applied waste, and not allowing any CAFO to apply manure during January, February, and most of March. “We really don’t want folks following the high-risk practice of applying manure to frozen fields where the soil will be frozen, and then maybe there’s a melt-off and it’s going to take the manure directly into a water source based on the fact that it can’t percolate into the ground.”

Assendelft says Michigan now bans winter manure surface applications for CAFO’s, but smaller farms are not prohibited from spreading.  He says Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario, and some Ohio farms also have similar spreading restrictions based on either calendar dates or field conditions.

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