Pennsylvania farm land and the Chesapeake Bay have a close relationship – the streams from half the state carry whatever is picked up in rainwater and deposit it all in the bay. Not good. So the state is changing its manure management regulations to include EVERY farm that keeps even a single sheep, goat or pony. New regulations are under construction that would require every owner of livestock, including equines, to have and follow a written manure management plan.
Broadly, the regulations would deal with manure production, pasture condition, and proximity to water. From Penn State’s current newsletter: Any farm that houses animals in the state of Pennsylvania will have to have a written Manure Management Plan, meeting the guidelines provided in the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Manure Management Manual. The plan simply needs to be kept on file at the farm and doesn’t need to be approved, unless the farm is a Concentrated Animal Operation or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.
The regulations will be enforced by the Department of Environmental Protection, and are expected to be complaint driven – i.e. if someone complains, the farm will get a visit.
The draft Manure Management Manual and it regulations are available online at: http://www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/dsweb/Get/Document-80890/361-0300-002_8-4-2010.pdf. Public comments will be accepted until November 12. For more information, contact Don Fiesta, Department of Environmental Protection, 717-772-5644, email@example.com