NO. 124. AN ACT RELATING TO LARGE FARM OPERATIONS.
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 6 V.S.A. § 4849 is added to read:
§ 4849. RECYCLING ANIMAL WASTE NUTRIENTS
In order to best use the nutrients of animal waste generated by large farm operations, the department of agriculture, food and markets together with the department of public service shall use available resources to inform large farm operations of appropriate methods and resources available to digest and compost their animal wastes, and to capture methane for beneficial uses.
Sec. 2. 6 V.S.A. § 4851 is amended to read:
§ 4851. PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR LARGE FARM OPERATIONS
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(c) The commissioner shall approve, *[
modify and approve with the applicant's consent]* condition, or disapprove the application within *[ 30]* 45 business days of the date of *[ an]* receipt of a complete application for a permit under this section. Failure to act within the *[ 30]* 45 business days shall be deemed approval.
(d) A person seeking a permit under this section shall apply in writing to the commissioner. The application shall include a description of the proposed barn or expansion of animal units; a proposed nutrient management plan to accommodate the number of livestock or domestic fowl the barn is designed to house or expand to; and a description of the manure management system to be used to accommodate agricultural wastes. *[
The permit may contain conditions only to address the provisions contained in this subsection.]*
(e) The commissioner may *[
make recommendations to the person concerning practices, separate and apart from the permit and not as conditions of the permit, concerning]* condition or deny a permit on the basis of odor, noise *[ and]*, traffic *[ expected to be created by the proposed construction or expansion, based on information provided by the person concerning the management of:]*
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Sec. 3. 6 V.S.A. § 4852 is amended to read:
§ 4852. RULES
The commissioner may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 concerning program administration, program enforcement, appeals and standards for waste management and waste storage, odor, noise, traffic, insects, flies and other pests in order to implement this subchapter. In no case shall the rules be stricter than the federal regulations when adjusted where appropriate to 95 percent of the federal threshold governing concentrated animal feeding operations, as set forth in the EPA Guide Manual on NPDES Regulations and in EPA Document 833-B-95-001 of December, 1995.
Sec. 4. 6 V.S.A. § 4854 is amended to read:
§ 4854. REVOCATION; ENFORCEMENT
The commissioner may revoke a permit issued under this subchapter after following the same process prescribed by section 2705 of this title regarding the revocation of a handler's license. The commissioner may also seek enforcement remedies under sections 1, 12, 13, 16 and 17 of this title as well as assess an administrative penalty under section 15 of this title to any person who fails to apply for a permit as required by this subchapter, or who violates the terms or conditions of a permit issued under this subchapter. However, notwithstanding the provisions of section 15 of this title to the contrary, the maximum administrative penalty assessed for a violation of this subchapter shall not exceed $5,000.00 for each violation, and the maximum amount of any penalty assessed for separate and distinct violations of this chapter shall not exceed $50,000.00.
Sec. 5. 30 V.S.A. § 218b is amended to read:
§ 218b. FARM CUSTOMERS; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; ELECTRIC ENERGY GENERATION
Each Vermont electric distribution utility shall develop and implement comprehensive energy efficiency programs for its *[
dairy]* livestock and domestic fowl farm customers. Such programs shall include all program measures that the public service board determines will be cost-effective as part of the utility's least cost integrated plan. Utilities shall file such proposed programs by August 1, 1991. The board shall require each utility to deliver approved program measures to farm customers as rapidly as possible thereafter, taking into consideration the need for these services, utility financial constraints, and cost-effective delivery mechanisms.
Sec. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage.
Approved: April 21, 1998