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Author Topic: manure in streams vs industry waste  (Read 4027 times)

Offline red

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manure in streams vs industry waste
« on: March 20, 2008, 01:25:27 PM »
Just curious but in your area how quick is the EPA to jump on a farmer/rancher for having run-off of manure versus an industry w/ waste or chemicals? Same thing for a housing development versus agriculture? I know as farmers we need to fence off our cattle from streams, put up pads or dikes to prevent fertilizer, chemicals or fuel from spilling & leaking. But I see these factories, industries & other places & wonder if they are under the same restrictions? Especially all these new houses & developments going up.
Do you feel it's fair? what are you seeing your area? I know w/ the largest dairy being opened in our county, they are under terrible scrutiny. Same thing for people that spread manure onto fields. Any thoughts? I'm sure knabe has a whole train of thought on this one!

Red
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Offline knabe

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 01:46:36 PM »
dang you red!

my picks for problems.  road runoff and the governments refusal to control weeds on govt right of ways or plant natives that crowd them out.  i understand they need to be more elevated C02 loving, ie rye grass, but one has to believe there is a dwarf rye grass out there that will only thrive in high C02 envirnoments like next to a highway.

i'll also bring up that the govt is trying to install a university next to me on land designated as tiger salamander habitat, with a seasonal pond on it that is the only breeding ground for them.  it really angers me to no end that they will be able to "take" them and we won't be able to enjoy them anymore.  not only that, but we have to go through an extensive permitting process to make a pond for them to breed in that would comply with all sorts of perc tests etc.

i'll also add in the government changing a stream course on our land to satisfy our neighbor on our OK property as he's a big what to do in county politics.

also, i'll add in schools taking the hit in the budget and having to lay off teachers, but no other agency within the entire state has to lose their job.

i'll also add in on another piece of property in OK, where the culvert to our driveway got designated as a wetland and we cant change the culvert or upgrade it without a headache so our leaser can drive his equipment over it. 

i would think the government would be slobbering at the bit to install a lined effluent pond to capture methane and pipe it somewhere for free for so many years, then let him charge.

did i mention that in general, i think the government needs to be regulated by the people again?
"The generation that told us to question authority, has now become the Authority we cannot question!"

Offline chambero

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2008, 01:47:26 PM »
Now your right in the middle of my line of business.

Honestly, farmers/ranchers don't have anywhere near the amount of regulation for waste discharges that industries and municipalities (including residential housing developments).  Examples of specific requirements:

ANY kind of construction activitity that disturbs more than 1 acre of land is required to get a "storm water permit" and prepare a document called a storm water pollution prevention plan.  The documentation costs several thousand dollars not to mention the cost of actual erosion prevention measures (this requirement is what generates all of those hay bales and silt fences on roadway and housing projects).

Business can't just discharge their sewage to the City's sewage treatment plant.  They have to meet "pretreatment' requirements that often requires an in-house wastewater treatment plant.  Any kind of business that makes food products (i.e. one of our clients makes tortillas), uses chemicals like solvents, etc) spends a lot of money on these issues.  Cities also charge much hire fees for sewage treatement for businesses.

Air permitting requirements and emission controls are extremely expensive for many kinds of businesses.

Believe it or not, agriculture is still largely a "sacred cow" (no pun intended) and isn't subjected to near the amount of regulation that every other industry in the U.S. is.

You would be amazed at the amount of money the U.S. Army is forced to spend on environmental issues.  They get in trouble for greasy spots in their parking lots because of storm water runoff issues.

Offline red

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2008, 01:51:00 PM »
wow, chambero. I guess I didn't realize others had to jump through so many hoops. It just seems that the only time we hear or read about it is when a farmer has some run-off into the local streams. You've given me some food for thought!

Knabe- glad I could be of service to you! Like I said it was a topic I thought you could sink your teeth into! No pun intended here either!  ;)

Red
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but most succeed because they are determined to."
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Offline knabe

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 02:08:43 PM »
the waste water stream of our building here at work is monitored 24/7 for pH and temp and is sampled monthly for tests.  when anyone buys property in the silicon valley, they have to perform a bunch of test drillings on the soil and test for solvents from the chip making business over the years.  the reason they do this is because the owner is liable for any plumes, and obvioulsy sources.  basically, this costs about 35-40K to perform.  but at a savings of millions of dollars for cleaning up the site if it has stuff, is a problem.  when romic, a waste treatment plant for chemicals, went out of business, the new owner did not purchase 3 properties just for this reason.  there are currently massive lawsuits right now over this.  same with moffett field, as well as hanger one which probably has more asbestos per square foot than any site in america.  not sure if its the high density barb type or the low one.  the low one is not considered near the hazard as the high density type, if at all in real terms.

just for grins, one should read the MSDS sheets for table salt and sugar

Synonyms: alpha-D-glucopyranosyl-beta-D-fructofuranoside;
sugarCAUTION! MAY FORM COMBUSTIBLE DUST CONCENTRATIONS IN AIR. NUISANCE DUST. HIGH CONCENTRATIONS MAY IRRITATE EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT.

obviously the dust has caused problems in the past with explosions, same with grain dust.

chambero, i think you mentioned you live in texas.  isn't it still pretty easy to make ponds on one's property?

also pretty intersting, the largest employer in the county is food processor.  the county is trying to impose pretreatment onto the company and the company wants help or it has to leave, taking with it, those jobs.  this would basically kill everything ag field related other than packer type lettuce.

it's a big problem.

i haven't seen too many studies about what is tolerable as oppossed to measurable and what the solutions are and what technology is being developed to take advantage here.  seems like a great opportunity.
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Offline chambero

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2008, 02:26:12 PM »
Every state has their own cleanup levels or discharge standards.  For wastewater, they are usually based on specific water bodies and the aggregate of what goes into them. 

Yep, I live in Texas.  We are generally much more relaxed that California, but most of those are federal laws that apply to everybody.  The Corps of Engineers is the primary regulatory agency for any kind of water body.  There is a very important distinction to be made:  Anyone can build a pond or stock tank in an "upland" area as long as it is not on a drainage feature that shows up on a USGS topographic map.  Regulations apply when you are causing "fill" in a "water of the U.S." - which can include prettty much any kind of ditch that might show up on one of those maps or a wetland (which has very specific criteria).  The pond you mentioned at your school is probably a "vernal pool" which is regulated as a wetland and are associated with seveal kinds of endangered species. 

Your culvert in Oklahoma probably involved a something in a drainage channel that was considered a water of the U.S. 

Offline sawboss

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2008, 03:28:32 PM »
I have a storm water permit for my sawmill that states, " A piece of wood larger than 1" in diameter shall not leave the property and enter into the local water system."  Think about it a 1" piece of wood.  We have terraces, netting and a run off pond to maintain our pollution, or sawdust and chips.  The air permit was a nightmare in itself, it states airborne particles are not to leave our property.  This includes dust from the ground created by rolling equipment, trucks, wheel loaders and my personal vehicle.  My response was the school bus creates more dust on the county roads than our equipment.  Their response was, yes but they are not regulated.  We even have to worry about a neighbor who "might" have a child with allergies that moves within 500 ft of our closest emission point.  I hate dealing with this nonsense in order to make a living.
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Offline knabe

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2008, 03:45:28 PM »
one should be able to sue to not allow a person with allergies to move within 500 feet and this restriction should be on all titles.  should work both ways.  one should be able to sue to not allow damages beyond 500 feet for allergies.  unless and until more normal americans run for office, this will continue.
"The generation that told us to question authority, has now become the Authority we cannot question!"

Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2008, 03:46:43 PM »
They want me to fence off 200 feet around any ditch that may have surface water run down it to a tributary of a larger creek. However, everytime we get a big rain a town of 10,000 just to the north of me has an "overflow" from it's sewage treatment plant into the same creek. Let's see - an occassional cow pie close to a ditch in my pasture or raw sewage from 10,000 people. Who is really abusing the water shed?
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Offline chambero

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2008, 03:51:37 PM »
That City of 10,000 people is under pressure to get those overflows stopped or they will eventually receive a very big fine.  It's called EPA's Sanitary Sewer Overflow initiative and something that is very expensive for cities to deal with.  Their overflow are noticed.  They give smaller cities like that time to deal with it, but they do have to eventually get them stopped.

Offline sawboss

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2008, 03:53:03 PM »
Fortunately we own 90% of the land around our mill, and our closest emission point to neighboring property is 1500 ft.  The yard dust is what aggravates me, we are required to water if the good Lord does not do it for us.  Red tape and hoops, both go well with a circus.
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Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2008, 03:54:53 PM »
That City of 10,000 people is under pressure to get those overflows stopped or they will eventually receive a very big fine.  It's called EPA's Sanitary Sewer Overflow initiative and something that is very expensive for cities to deal with.  Their overflow are noticed.  They give smaller cities like that time to deal with it, but they do have to eventually get them stopped.
I'm not sure how long they usually give them but this has been going on for 20 years that I know about. RW
You tell them I'm coming - Tell them I'm coming and I'm bringing Hell with me!

Offline chambero

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2008, 04:00:37 PM »
They started on big cities like Fort Worth back in the mid 90s and are working their way down to smaller ones.  It takes years to fix because you basically have to redo a whole sewer system or create large overflow ponds and pipe networks.  Nobody has the money to deal with this kind of stuff quickly.

My only point is that they don't just pick on farmers and ranchers.

Offline Kansas Karl

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Re: manure in streams vs industry waste
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2008, 06:37:21 PM »
chambero  what is you line of work??
Show Barn Manager for Kimbrell Cattle Co in Hillsboro, Texas

 

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