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RULE §321.47Requirements for Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) Not Defined or Designated As Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

(a) Purpose. This section provides an animal feeding operation (AFO) that is not defined or designated as a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) authorization to operate, and identifies the operational requirements necessary to achieve the purposes of this subchapter.

(b) Applicability.

  (1) Except as identified in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the owner or operator of an AFO not defined or designated as a CAFO who uses a control facility to manage manure, sludge, or wastewater generated on site shall comply with all the requirements of this section.

  (2) The owner or operator of an AFO not defined or designated as a CAFO who qualifies for, obtains, and is operating under a certified water quality management plan from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and subsection (c)(1) - (4) of this section are considered to meet all technical requirements of this section.

  (3) The owner of an AFO not defined or designated as a CAFO who uses an alternative treatment practice, such as filter strips (Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Code 393), constructed wetlands (NRCS Code 656), or vegetated treatment areas (NRCS Code 635), instead of a control facility to manage manure, sludge, or wastewater generated on site shall comply with all the requirements of this section except the requirements mentioned in subsection (d) and (e) of this section.

(c) General requirements.

  (1) An AFO operator must locate, construct, and manage the control facility, alternative treatment practice, and land management unit (LMU) in a manner that will protect surface and groundwater quality.

  (2) An AFO operator must prevent nuisance conditions and minimize odor conditions in accordance with the requirements of §321.31(b) of this title (relating to Manure, Litter, and Wastewater Discharge and Air Emission Limitations).

  (3) Proper pen drainage shall be maintained at all times. Earthen pen areas shall be maintained to ensure good drainage by scraping uncompacted manure and shaping pen surfaces as necessary to minimize odors and ponding.

  (4) An AFO shall not expand operations, either in size or numbers of animals, before amending or enlarging the manure handling procedures and structures to accommodate all additional manure that will be generated by the expanded operations.

  (5) As applicable to the operation, the production area of a new or expanding AFO must comply with the requirements of §321.41 of this title (relating to Special Requirements for Discharges to a Playa).

  (6) All control facilities, alternative treatment practices, holding pens, and retention control structures (RCSs) must be located outside of the 100-year flood plain unless the structures are protected from inundation and damage that may occur during the 100-year flood event.

  (7) Where applicable, equivalent measures contained in a site-specific plan which meet the requirements of this subchapter may be substituted for applicable best management practices and/or portions of the technical requirements in this subchapter. Equivalent measures may be contained in:

    (A) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - NRCS Field Office Technical Guide for Texas; or

    (B) TSSWCB rules; or

    (C) a certified water quality management plan certified by the TSSWCB; or

    (D) a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) certified by the TSSWCB, the USDA - NRCS, or their designee.

  (8) The AFO operator shall adhere to the well buffer requirements in §321.38(b) of this title (relating to Control Facility Design Requirements Applicable to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)) and §321.40(g) of this title (relating to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Land Application Requirements).

(d) Control facilities.

  (1) The AFO operator shall minimize entry of uncontaminated runoff into RCSs. Such measures may include the construction of berms, embankments, or similar structures.

  (2) The AFO may discharge from the production area if the discharge is the result of a chronic or catastrophic rainfall event, or catastrophic condition that exceeds the design capacity of an RCS that has been properly designed, constructed, operated, and maintained. RCSs shall be designed in accordance with §321.38 of this title.

  (3) The AFO operator constructing a new or modifying an existing RCS shall ensure that all construction and design is certified by a licensed Texas professional engineer. The certification shall be signed and sealed in accordance with the requirements of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. All RCS design and construction shall, at a minimum, be in accordance with the technical standards developed by the NRCS, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Testing Materials, or other technical standards approved by the executive director, that are in effect at the time of construction. Where site-specific variations are warranted, the operator must ensure a licensed Texas professional engineer documents these variations and their appropriateness to the plan.

  (4) Existing RCSs that have been properly maintained without any modifications and have no apparent structural problems or leakage will be considered to be properly designed and constructed with respect to the RCS sizing, embankment design and construction, and liner requirements of this subchapter, provided that any required documentation was completed in accordance with the requirements at the time of construction. If no documentation exists, the RCS must be certified by a licensed Texas professional engineer as providing protection equivalent to the requirements of this section. Structures built in accordance with site-specific NRCS plans and specifications will be considered to be in compliance with the design and capacity requirements of this subchapter if the site-specific conditions are the same as those used by the NRCS to develop the plan (numbers of animals, runoff area, manure generated, etc.) and the RCS is operated and maintained in accordance with NRCS requirements.

  (5) RCS embankments and liners shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements of §321.38 of this title.

  (6) The AFO operator must maintain copies of documentation of the sources of information, assumptions, and calculations used in determining the appropriate volume capacity of the RCSs.

  (7) An irrigation system or other liquid manure removal system used by an AFO must be designed to ensure that the system is capable of dewatering the RCSs on a regular schedule. RCSs shall be equipped with irrigation, or wastewater removal systems capable of dewatering the RCSs whenever needed to restore the operating capacity. Dewatering equipment shall be maintained in proper working order.

  (8) Sludge shall be removed from RCSs to prevent the accumulation of sludge from encroaching on other required storage volumes.

(e) Operation and maintenance.

  (1) Sufficient volume shall be maintained at all times within the RCS to accommodate sludge, wastewaters, and contaminated stormwater (rainwater runoff and direct precipitation) from the AFO facility.

  (2) The operator shall restore such capacity after each rainfall event or accumulation of manure, sludge, or process-generated wastewater that reduces such capacity, when conditions are favorable for irrigation. Favorable conditions shall be when the soil moisture level decreases so that irrigation will not cause runoff.

  (3) The normal operating wastewater level in the RCS shall be maintained within the design of the RCS. If the water level in the RCS encroaches into the storage volume reserved for the design rainfall event the operator must document the conditions that resulted in this occurrence. As soon as irrigation is not prohibited, the AFO operator shall irrigate until the water level is at or below the design rainfall level.

  (4) Adequate equipment shall be available and maintained in good working order to remove such manure, sludge, and wastewater from the RCS as required to maintain the required volume in compliance with this subchapter.

  (5) A rain gauge capable of measuring the design rainfall event shall be installed on site and properly maintained.

  (6) The AFO operator shall install and maintain a permanent pond marker in the RCS, visible from the top of the embankment that identifies, either physically or by onsite documentation, the volume required for the design rainfall event.

  (7) The AFO operator shall ensure that liners are protected from animals by fences or other protective devices. No tree shall be allowed to grow such that the root zone would intrude or compromise the structure of the liner or embankment. Any mechanical or structural damage to the liner shall be evaluated by a licensed Texas professional engineer within 30 days following discovery of the damage.

  (8) The AFO operator shall maintain ponds, pipes, ditches, pumps, and diversion and irrigation equipment to ensure ability to fully comply with the terms of this subchapter.

  (9) An AFO operator using a liquid manure handling system shall scrape or flush accumulated manure at least once per week or in accordance with proper design and maintenance of the facility.

  (10) If an RCS is in danger of imminent overflow from chronic or catastrophic rainfall or catastrophic conditions, the AFO operator shall take reasonable steps to irrigate wastewater to LMUs only to the extent necessary to prevent overflow from the RCS.

(f) Land application.

  (1) The runoff of manure, sludge, or wastewater to water in the state as the result of the application of manure, sludge, or wastewater from an AFO is authorized provided the land application activity is implemented in accordance with a plan for nutrient management detailed in this section.

  (2) The AFO operator shall apply manure, sludge, and wastewater uniformly to suitable land at appropriate times and at agronomic rates. Timing and rate of applications shall be in response to crop needs, assuming usual nutrient losses, expected precipitation, and soil conditions.

  (3) The AFO operator shall develop and utilize the information in this paragraph for land application unless a nutrient management plan (NMP) is developed and implemented. At that time, the NMP must be followed for land application. The AFO operator must adhere to the following:

    (A) a site map showing the location of all LMUs;

    (B) the location, description, and limitations of the major soil types within the identified LMUs, and a plan to address the soil limitations;

    (C) crop types and rotations to be implemented on an annual basis;

    (D) predicted yield goals based on the major soil types within the identified LMUs;

    (E) procedures for calculating nutrient budgets to be used to determine application rates;

    (F) a detailed description of the type of equipment and method of application to be used in applying the manure, sludge or wastewater; and

    (G) projected rates and timing of application of the manure, sludge, and wastewater as well as other sources of nutrients that will be applied to the LMUs.

  (4) Discharge of manure, sludge, or wastewater from the LMU is prohibited and shall not cause or contribute to a violation of surface water quality standards, contaminate groundwater, or create a nuisance condition.

  (5) Application rates of manure, sludge, and wastewater shall not exceed the crop requirement of the crop or planned crop planting. Land application rates of manure sludge, and wastewater shall be based on the available nutrient content of the manure, sludge, and wastewater.

  (6) Land application shall not occur when the ground is frozen or saturated or during rainfall events, unless in accordance with §321.39(b)(3) of this title (relating to Operational Requirements Applicable to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)).

  (7) Irrigation practices shall be managed so as to minimize ponding or puddling of wastewater on the site, prevent discharge of tailwater to waters in the state, prevent pollution of waters in the state, and prevent the occurrence of nuisance conditions.

  (8) The land application of manure, sludge, and wastewater at agronomic rates shall not be considered surface disposal and is not prohibited.

  (9) Manure, sludge, or wastewater may be applied to the areas in the 100-year flood plain at agronomic rates not to exceed the hydrologic needs of the crop.

  (10) The AFO operator shall develop and maintain the calculations and assumptions used for determining land application rates and all nutrient analysis data.

  (11) The AFO operator shall annually analyze at least one representative sample of irrigation wastewater and sludge, if applicable, and one representative sample of manure for total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and total potassium.


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