The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)’s Division of Water Resources will hold four public meetings in April on draft Animal Waste Management Digester System General Permits. Three meetings will be in-person and a fourth will be online via Webex. Members of the public are invited to attend and submit comments on the draft permits.
The three draft General Permits cover the installation and operation of digester systems at existing swine, cattle and wet poultry operations. The Digester System General Permit drafts are available online. Permits will be finalized by June 30, 2022, as directed by statute.
DEQ is conducting these meetings as part of its commitment to a transparent public engagement process during the development of the general permits. During this process, the Department held two technical stakeholder workgroup meetings and a virtual public input session in late 2021. A summary of the stakeholder workgroup and recording of the input session is available online.
A virtual meeting will be held through Webex from 6-9 p.m. on April 21, 2022, for those unable to attend the in-person hearings:
https://bit.ly/3FFGRLL | Event number: 2436 024 6769
Event password: NCDEQ (62337 from phones)
Join by phone: 415-655-0003 | Access code: 2436 024 6769
Members of the public who wish to speak at the virtual meeting should sign up online by 4 p.m. on April 21.
For those who cannot attend the meetings, public input can be submitted until May 2, 2022 via email to PublicCommentsDWR@ncdenr.gov, or by leaving a voicemail at 919-707-9129.
Comments can also be mailed to the address listed below:
Ramesh RavellaAnimal Feeding Operations, NC Division of Water Resources 1636 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1636 Phone: 919-707-9129
Currently, digester systems are processed as modifications to a facility’s existing permit. Section 11 of the 2021 Farm Act (Senate Bill 605) established specific requirements for the development of the Digester System General Permits. The new general permits will include all of the existing and enforceable requirements of the 2019 State General Animal Waste Management Permits, including developing and maintaining a Certified Animal Waste Management Plan, and complying with siting, buffer, testing, inspection and reporting requirements.
Additional information and updates on the stakeholder process are available online.