The state has scheduled three meetings April on draft animal waste management digester system general permits.
The three draft general permits cover the installation and operation of digester systems, which treat waste, at existing swine, cattle and wet poultry operations.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources will host the meetings at 6 p.m. April 5 in James Sprunt Community College, Monk Auditorium, 133 James Sprunt Drive, Kenansville, and at 6 p.m. April 7 at the Sampson County Exposition Center, 414 Warsaw Road, Clinton.
A virtual meeting will also be held at 6 p.m. April 21. Link to join the meeting is https://bit.ly/3FFGRLL. Event number is 2436 024 6769 and password is NCDEQ. To join by phone call 415-655-0003 and use access code 2436 024 6769. Sign up online by 4 p.m. April 21 to speak during the virtual meeting.
The meetings will be facilitated by an independent moderator. Members of the public who wish to speak at the meetings will be able to sign up upon arrival.
The General Assembly directed the Division of Water Resources to develop general permits by July 1 for existing animal feeding operations that intend to build and operate a digester system. Currently, digester systems are processed as modifications to a facility’s existing permit, according to the state.
Senate Bill 605, known as the 2021 Farm Act, defines a farm digester system as a system and all associated equipment and lagoon covers that collects and processes gases from an animal waste management system for the digestion of animal biomass for use as a renewable energy resource.
The Digester System General Permit drafts are online. Permits will be finalized by June 30 as directed by statute.
For those who cannot attend the meetings, public input can be submitted until May 2 by email to PublicCommentsDWR@ncdenr.gov, or by leaving a voicemail at 919-707-9129.