§ 91.36. Pollution control and prevention at agricultural operations.
(a) Animal manure storage facilities.
(1) Except when more stringent requirements are contained in paragraphs (2)(5), a manure storage facility shall be designed, constructed, operated and maintained in accordance with current engineering and agronomic practices to ensure that the facility is structurally sound, water-tight, and located and sized properly, to prevent pollution of surface water and groundwater, including design to prevent discharges to surface waters during a storm up to and including a 25-year/24-hour storm.
(i) The Manure Management Manual and the Pennsylvania Technical Guide contain current engineering and agronomic practices which can be used to comply with the requirements in paragraph (1).
(ii) If the criteria in the Manure Management Manual and the Pennsylvania Technical Guide are not followed, the owner or operator shall obtain a water quality management permit or other approval from the Department for the manure storage facility.
(2) For liquid or semisolid manure storage facilities constructed after January 29, 2000, the owner or operator shall obtain a water quality management permit from the Department for the manure storage facility unless the design and construction of the facility are certified to meet the Manure Management Manual and Pennsylvania Technical Guide by a registered professional engineer. The owner or operator shall retain a copy of the certification at the operation and provide a copy to the Department upon request.
(3) In the case of a new or expanded liquid or semisolid manure storage facility located at an animal operation with over 1,000 AEUs for the first time after January 29, 2000, a water quality management permit is required.
(4) For a new or expanded liquid or semisolid manure storage facility after October 22, 2005:
(i) Where the manure storage capacity is between 1 million and 2.5 million gallons, a water quality management permit is required for any manure storage facility that is a pond and one of the following applies:
(A) The nearest downgradient stream is classified as a High Quality or Exceptional Value water under Chapter 93 (relating to water quality standards).
(B) The nearest downgradient stream has been determined by the Department to be impaired from nutrients from agricultural activities.
(ii) Where the manure storage capacity is 2.5 million gallons or more, a water quality management permit is required.
(5) For new or expanded CAFOs that commenced operations after April 13, 2003, and that include swine, poultry or veal calves, the CAFO shall prevent discharges to surface waters during a storm event up to and including a 100-year/24-hour storm from manure storage facilities that contain manure from those swine, poultry or veal calves.
(6) For a liquid or semisolid manure storage facility, the following minimum freeboard requirements apply and shall be maintained:
(i) For an agricultural operation with over 1,000 AEUs that was a new or expanded operation after January 29, 2000, a minimum 24-inch freeboard, except for enclosed facilities that are not exposed to rainfall, which must have a minimum freeboard of 6 inches.
(ii) For all other facilities, a minimum 12-inch freeboard for manure storage facilities that are ponds, and a minimum 6-inch freeboard for all other manure storage facilities.
(7) The requirements in this section are in addition to and do not replace any more stringent requirements in Chapter 83, Subchapter D (relating to nutrient management).
(b) Land application of animal manure and agricultural process wastewater; setbacks and buffers.
(1) The land application of animal manures and agricultural process wastewater requires a permit or approval from the Department unless the operator can demonstrate that the land application meets one of the following:
(i) The land application follows current standards for development and implementation of a plan to manage nutrients for water quality protection, including soil and manure testing and calculation of proper levels and methods of nitrogen and phosphorus application. The Manure Management Manual contains current standards for development and implementation of a plan to manage nutrients for water quality protection which can be used to comply with the requirements in paragraph (1).
(ii) For CAOs, the land application is in accordance with an approved nutrient management plan under Chapter 83, Subchapter D.
(iii) For CAFOs, the land application is in accordance with a CAFO permit as described in § 92a.29 (relating to CAFOs).
(2) Unless more stringent requirements are established by statute or regulation, the following agricultural operations may not mechanically land apply manure within 100 feet of surface water, unless a vegetated buffer of at least 35 feet in width is used, to prevent manure runoff into surface water:
(i) A CAO.
(ii) An agricultural operation receiving manure from a CAO directly, or indirectly through a broker or other person.
(iii) An agricultural operation receiving manure from a CAFO directly, or indirectly through a broker or other person.
(3) CAFOs shall meet the setback requirements in § 92a.29(e)(1)(i).
(4) For purposes of paragraph (2) only, surface water means a perennial or intermittent stream with a defined bed and bank, a lake or a pond.
(c) Discharge of pollutants.
(1) It is unlawful for agricultural operations to discharge pollutants to waters of this Commonwealth except as allowed by regulations or a permit administered by the Department. The Department is authorized to take an enforcement action against any agricultural operation in violation of this requirement.
(2) An operation that has a discharge that is not authorized under the act and that meets the definition of either a medium or small CAFO under 40 CFR 122.23 (relating to concentrated animal feeding operations (applicable to State NPDES programs, see 123.25)) is considered to have an illegal discharge and is subject to enforcement action under the act.
(3) When an agricultural operation is found to be in violation of the act, the Department may require the agricultural operation to develop and implement a nutrient management plan under Chapter 83, Subchapter D, for abatement or prevention of the pollution.
The provisions of this § 91.36 issued under sections 5(b)(1) and 402 of The Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. § § 691.5(b)(1) and 691.402); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. § 510-20); amended under sections 5(b)(1) and 6 of The Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. § § 691.5(b)(1) and 691.6); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. § 1920-A).
The provisions of this § 91.36 adopted January 28, 2000, effective January 29, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 521; amended October 21, 2005, effective October 22, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 5796. Section 91.36(b)(2)(i) and (ii) shall remain in effect until the effective date of regulations promulgated by the State Conservation Commission that establish requirements which provide, at a minimum, the same setback and buffer requirements for concentrated animal operations, and for agricultural operations that import manure from those operations, established in § 91.36(b)(2). The Department will publish notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin if those regulations are promulgated. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the duty of any agricultural operation to comply with The Clean Streams Law or any other provision of Chapters 91 and 92; amended August 27, 2021, effective August 28, 2021, 51 Pa.B. 5361. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (384076), (315441) to (315442) and (352599).
This section cited in 25 Pa. Code § 83.201 (relating to definitions); 25 Pa. Code § 83.311 (relating to manure management); and 25 Pa. Code § 83.351 (relating to minimum standards for the design, construction, location, operation, maintenance and removal from service of manure storage facilities); 25 Pa. Code § 91.1 (relating to definitions); 25 Pa. Code § 91.35 (relating to wastewater impoundments); 25 Pa. Code § 92a.29 (relating to CAFO); 25 Pa. Code § 92a.49 (relating to CAFO); and 25 Pa. Code § 96.8 (relating to use of offsets and tradable credits from pollution reduction activities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed).
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