Rocky Mountain National Park
Perhaps nowhere is ammonia from livestock under greater scrutiny than along the front range of Colorado. In 2005, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Park Service (NPS) formed the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) Initiative to address nitrogen deposition within the park.
For the last 14 years, CLA has been at the table representing our members and has been successful in an effort to avoid mandatory regulation of ammonia emissions on livestock operations.
CLA leads the effort in the development of a pilot project known as the Early Warning System which provides a list of Best Management Practices that producers have the option to implement during an upslope event.
2017 Milestone Report Highlights
On May 10, 2019, the RMNP Initiative held a stakeholder meeting to discuss the final draft of the 2017 RMNP Milestone Report.
The evidence indicates that the deposition rate has plateaued. The MOU agencies will not trigger the RMNP Deposition Contingency Plan which could have started agriculture down the path toward regulation of ammonia emissions.
The Air Expert
Dr. Bryan Shaw is working with the Colorado Livestock Association to address environmental and regulatory challenges facing the Colorado livestock industry. Specifically, he will bring his expertise and experience to issues such as identifying appropriate innovative voluntary solutions to nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park and ensuring that the progress made by production agriculture is considered in developing future plans. Dr. Shaw is a licensed engineer in the State of Texas, former Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and current owner of Shaw Engineering. Dr. Shaw attended Texas A&M University where he obtained both his BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Engineering before receiving his Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Regulation 61 & 81
All Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation’s (CAFOs) in Colorado, whether permitted or not, are required under Regulation 81 to protect Colorado’s water. Regulation 61 assures clean water through federal law, and applies to permitted CAFOs and Housed Commercial Swine Feeding Operations (HCSFOs).
Environmental Ag Program
In 2005, Colorado Livestock Association members were instrumental in the formation of the Environmental Ag Program to the benefit of Colorado’s livestock industry. The Environmental Ag Program administers air and water quality protection regulations specific to animal feeding operations, including permitting, conducting site inspections, developing and implementing policies and regulations, providing technical assistance and initiating enforcement actions in coordination with the Air and Water Quality divisions. CLA continues to work with the Environmental Ag Program to foster a relationship based on common sense & compliance assistance rather than command and control to protect one of Colorado’s most precious resources.
Effective September 30, 2012, this regulation was adopted as a first step to reduce the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in Colorado’s water bodies. Currently, provisions in the regulation encourage producers to voluntarily adopt best management practices that are effective and cost-efficient.
The clock is ticking – 2022 is the deadline for agriculture to demonstrate its efforts to mitigate nutrient run-off.
Solid & Hazardous Waste
Ag Waste Definition
In the spring of 2018, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Solid and Hazardous Waste Division (SHWD) proposed changes to the definition of “agricultural waste” and “environmental media.” CLA’s Natural Resources Committee members requested a stakeholder meeting to voice agriculture’s concerns. As a result of the discussion, changes were made to the proposal that agriculture producers supported.
In 2016, CDPHE’s SHWD staff conducted a stakeholder process to make changes to Section 14 of Colorado’s Solid Waste regulations regarding the composting rules. As a direct result of CLA’s participation in the stakeholder process, livestock operations remain exempt from this rule.
Agricultural producers re-purpose waste tires in numerous ways that are beneficial to the environment. The CDPHE SHWD regulates the processing and use of waste tires according to Section 10 of Colorado’s Solid Waste Regulation. CLA represents livestock producers on this issue and continues to be involved in discussions surrounding regulation of the use and reuse of waste tires on ag operations.
THE CLA POLICY BOOK
The CLA Policy Book is written and updated by CLA members. The policies within the book dictate the position that CLA takes on numerous issues throughout the state and within the regulatory arena.