Wisconsin livestock siting standards committee named

Technical standards used in permitting new or expanding livestock operations will be reviewed by a Livestock Siting Technical Expert committee named recently by Secretary Rod Nilsestuen, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Nilsestuen convened the technical committee to review water quality, odor, runoff management and other standards used by local governments in permitting livestock operations under the Livestock Facility Siting Law.

The work of this committee is part of DATCP’s four-year review of the siting law, which began with the department’s presentation of an evaluation report to Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection at their May meeting.

“By law we must appoint a committee of technical experts to provide advice on the siting standards and the Livestock Facility Siting Rule which is also known as ATCP 51,” Nilsestuen explained. “The committee can provide expert guidance to address the lessons learned over the past four years of the siting law and the comments expressed during the listening sessions that were held earlier this year on the law and rule.”

The 16 experts appointed by Nilsestuen come from both public and private sectors, and possess expertise similar to that of the group who assisted with the livestock siting rule development in 2004. In addition to expertise in the areas of permitting livestock operations, air emissions, odor, nutrient management, runoff management, and agricultural engineering, the committee has members with expertise in areas such as land use planning.

The committee will review the current siting standards to ensure they provide for responsible growth of an operation while correctly balancing other considerations such as public health and safety. Specifically, the committee will consider the following standards in light of the latest research, field experience and other factors:

  • Livestock structures and their location on the property which would include structural and manure storage setbacks from property lines.
  • Odor and air emissions including an assessment of odor credits for structures and manure handling practices.
  • Nutrient management which includes identifying required documentation within the nutrient management plan.
  • Waste storage facilities as well as clarifying waste generation calculations.
  • Runoff management including the consideration of federal standards for controlling leachate from stored feed.
  • Determining the completeness of the application materials for a siting permit.

The appointments to the Technical Expert Committee are:

  • Tom Bauman, agricultural runoff management coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Dave Buss, private sector nutrient management consultant, Waterloo
  • Patricia Cicero, Jefferson County resource management specialist
  • Jeff Endres, farmer experienced with nutrient management and land use planning, Town of Springfield, Dane County
  • Dennis Frame, co-director, Discovery Farms Program
  • Jerry Halverson, Manitowoc County conservationist
  • Brian Holmes, professor, biological systems engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Carrie A.M. Laboski, soil science professor, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Michael A. McGinley, consultant and national expert in odor evaluation, Lake Elmo, Minn.
  • Pat Murphy, state resource conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS)
  • Ed Odgers, chief of conservation engineering, DATCP
  • Dean Perlick, Dodge Planning & Economic Development
  • John M. Roach, professional engineer, Roach & Associates, LLC, Seymour
  • Robert L. Thiboldeaux, toxicologist, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Jeffery Voltz, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources representative from the Cooperative Environmental Assistance program
  • Richard Wagner, engineer and co-owner of Quantum Dairy, Weyauwega

The committee will be co-managed by DATCP staff Ed Odgers and Richard Castelnuovo.

The committee will be assisted in its work by advisors including John Ramsden, NRCS State Conservation Engineer; Andrew Craig, DNR Nutrient Management Specialist; Larry Jacobson, Professor and Extension Engineer, University of Minnesota; and Mark Powell, professor, Department of Soil Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The committee will hold their first meeting in July.

To be included on a mailing list for updates on the work of the technical expert committee or for information about the committee, contact Mike Murray, livestock siting specialist, (608) 224-4613 or mike.murray@wisconsin.gov.