The state of New York announced Friday it will not enforce “certain provisions of the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permits for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) …provided deviation from those requirements is necessary due to damages caused by Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee” in declared counties, according to a letter sent by Joe Martens, Commissioner of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation.
Currently, 15 eastern New York counties have Federal Emergency Disaster Declarations: Albany, Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Greene, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schojarie, Sullivan and Tioga. Three more in southern New York were added to the exempted county list by Martens: Cortland, Madison and Tompkins. The period of exemption runs from August 27 to September 23, and may be extended depending on conditions.
Producers who have had discharges to waters of the state are being requested to submit a written CAFO Incident Report within five days of the discharge.
In addition, the Department of Environmental Conservation will not prohibit placing food waste or milk into waste storage if that is the only means of disposal. Even land application will be allowed if there is danger of over topping lagoons with the addition of the waste milk.
The state's Congressional delegation also has introduced Federal legislation that would authorize
$10 million in hurricane relief. The New York Department of Agriculture has also initiated the Governor's $15 million Ag Community Recovery Fund to assist in eligible counties.
Similar efforts are reported occurring in Vermont.