Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 6 : Agriculture

Chapter 215 : AGRICULTURAL WATER QUALITY

Subchapter 004 : REGULATION OF LARGE FARM OPERATIONS

(Cite as: 6 V.S.A. § 4851)
  • § 4851. Permit requirements for large farm operations

    (a) No person shall, without a permit from the Secretary, construct a new barn, or expand an existing barn, designed to house more than 700 mature dairy animals, 1,000 cattle or cow/calf pairs, 1,000 veal calves, 2,500 swine weighing over 55 pounds, 10,000 swine weighing less than 55 pounds, 500 horses, 10,000 sheep or lambs, 55,000 turkeys, 30,000 laying hens or broilers with a liquid manure handling system, 82,000 laying hens without a liquid manure handling system, 125,000 chickens other than laying hens without a liquid manure handling system, 5,000 ducks with a liquid manure handling system, or 30,000 ducks without a liquid manure handling system. No permit shall be required to replace an existing barn in use for livestock or domestic fowl production at its existing capacity. The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, in consultation with the Secretary of Natural Resources, shall review any application for a permit under this section with regard to water quality impacts and, prior to approval of a permit under this subsection, shall issue a written determination regarding whether the applicant has established that there will be no unpermitted discharge to waters of the State pursuant to the federal regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations. If upon review of an application for a permit under this subsection, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets determines that the permit applicant may be discharging to waters of the State, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the Secretary of Natural Resources shall respond to the discharge in accordance with the memorandum of understanding regarding concentrated animal feeding operations under section 4810 of this title. The Secretary of Natural Resources may require a large farm to obtain a permit under 10 V.S.A. § 1263 pursuant to federal regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations.

    (b) A person shall apply for a permit in order to operate a farm which exceeds 700 mature dairy animals, 1,000 cattle or cow/calf pairs, 1,000 veal calves, 2,500 swine weighing over 55 pounds, 10,000 swine weighing less than 55 pounds, 500 horses, 10,000 sheep or lambs, 55,000 turkeys, 30,000 laying hens or broilers with a liquid manure handling system, 82,000 laying hens without a liquid manure handling system, 125,000 chickens other than laying hens without a liquid manure handling system, 5,000 ducks with a liquid manure handling system, or 30,000 ducks if the livestock or domestic fowl are in a barn or adjacent barns owned by the same person, or if the barns share a common border or have a common waste disposal system. In order to receive this permit, the person shall demonstrate to the Secretary that the farm has an adequately sized manure management system to accommodate the wastes generated and a nutrient management plan to dispose of wastes in accordance with required agricultural practices adopted under this chapter and current U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient management standards.

    (c) The Secretary shall approve, condition, or disapprove the application within 45 business days of the date of receipt of a complete application for a permit under this section. Failure to act within the 45 business days shall be deemed approval.

    (d) A person seeking a permit under this section shall apply in writing to the Secretary. The application shall include a description of the proposed barn or expansion of livestock or domestic fowl; a proposed nutrient management plan to accommodate the number of livestock or domestic fowl the barn is designed to house or the farm is intending to expand to; and a description of the manure management system to be used to accommodate agricultural wastes.

    (e) The Secretary may condition or deny a permit on the basis of odor, noise, traffic, insects, flies, or other pests.

    (f) Before granting a permit under this section, the Secretary shall make an affirmative finding that the animal wastes generated by the construction or expansion will be stored so as not to generate runoff from a 25-year, 24-hour storm event and shall be disposed of, in accordance with the required agricultural practices adopted under this chapter and current U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient management standards.

    (g) A farm that is permitted under this section and that withdraws more than 57,600 gallons of groundwater per day averaged over any 30 consecutive-day period shall annually report estimated water use to the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall share information reported under this subsection with the Agency of Natural Resources.

    (h) The Secretary may inspect a farm permitted under this section at any time, but no less frequently than once per year.

    (i) A person required to obtain a permit under this section shall submit an annual operating fee of $2,500.00 to the Secretary. The fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the Agricultural Water Quality Special Fund under section 4803 of this title. (Added 1995, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. May 15, 1996; amended 1997, No. 124 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 21, 1998; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2003, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. June 3, 2004; 2005, No. 78, § 8, eff. June 24, 2005; 2007, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. June 9, 2008; 2015, No. 39, § 11; 2015, No. 64, § 6.)