NJ's Animal Waste Management Rule:
Are you in compliance?
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture adopted regulations in March 2009 that require all livestock farm owners to responsibly manage the manure generated on their operations--including those with horses, dairy cows, cattle, swine, goats, sheep, poultry and all other domesticated species defined as livestock. All New Jersey farmers with livestock are required to be in compliance with the regulations are by March 16, 2012.
See Rutgers Animal Waste Management pages for more information: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/animal-waste-management/
The Animal Waste Management regulations require all farms with any livestock to comply with the following General Requirements of the rule:
1. Agricultural animal operations shall not allow animals in confined areas to have uncontrolled access to waters of the state.
2. Manure storage areas shall be located at least 100 linear feet from waters of the state.
3.Land application of animal waste shall be performed in accordance with the principles of the NJDA Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual.
4.Dead animals and related animal waste resulting from a reportable contagious disease or an act of bio-terrorism shall not be disposed of without first contacting the State Veterinarian.
5.Any person entering a farm to conduct official business related to these rules shall follow bio-security protocols.
In addition to the General Requirements listed above, all livestock operations with 8 to 299 "Animal Units" (one Animal Unit = 1,000 pounds) are required to implement an Animal Waste Management Plan by March 16, 2012. This plan must be in accordance with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture manual (On Farm Strategies to Protect Water Quality). Exact requirements will vary with size and density of operation. Check with one of the Extension offices listed below for details.
The Department of Agriculture will investigate alleged violations of the rules and take appropriate action, which may include fines of up to $ 1,000 per day for each violation as determined. The Department may allow the owner or operator up to 60 days to address or correct the non-compliance before imposing penalties.
According to New Jersey Statute (N.J.S.A. 4:1C) farmers must comply with all relevant federal and state statutes and regulations in order to maintain "Right to Farm Protection." New Jersey's Right to Farm Act protects responsible commercial farmers from public and private nuisance actions and unduly restrictive municipal regulations. Failure to comply with the Animal Waste Management Rule may result in loss of these protections.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension has provided training for livestock farmers since the initiation of the rule back in March of 2009. Extension offices will be available for assistance with compliance questions and will schedule individual meetings as needed.
Please contact the following Extension offices for additional information:
Hunterdon County Extension Office 908-788-1338
Salem County Extension Office 856-769-0090
Sussex County Extension Office 973-948-3040
Burlington County Extension Office 609-265-5050
A list of Extension offices and contact information may be found at: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/county