As Amended by Senate Committee on

Energy and Natural Resources


Sub. for H.B. 2950 would make amendments to current law and establish new provisions relating to the regulation of confined animal feeding facilities. Most of the provisions would establish standards for swine feeding facilities.

The bill would amend the current definition of the term "habitable structure" so that the term would exclude those habitable structures owned by a person operating a confined feeding facility for swine.

In addition, the bill would establish new separation distances for new construction or new expansion of confined feeding facilities for swine. The new separation distances would apply to distances to "habitable structures" and from any city, county, state, or federal park in existence when the application for a permit is submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). (Sec. 1)

The bill would continue the current separation distance requirements of 1,320 feet for swine facilities with an animal unit capacity of 300 to 999 and of 4,000 feet for facilities with an animal unit capacity of 1,000 to 3,724. A separation distance of 4,000 feet would be required for the expansion of an existing swine facility to an animal unit capacity of 3,725 or more if the expansion is within the perimeter of facilities from which distances are determined under other provisions of the bill. Further, the bill would establish a new separation distance of 5,000 feet for construction of new swine facilities with more than 3,725 animal units or for expansion of existing facilities where the expanded animal unit capacity will be greater than 3,725 and the expansion extends outside the perimeter as established by the bill. The bill would establish new separation distances for new swine facilities from wildlife refuges. Under this provision the distance from a wildlife refuge would be 5,000 feet for a facility with a capacity of between 1,000 and 3,724 animal units and 6,000 feet for facilities with a capacity of 3,725 or more. (Sec. 1(h)(3))

The new separation distances for new facilities having a capacity of 3,725 animal units or more or those distances relative to wildlife refuges would not apply under two conditions. The first condition would be if there was an application for expansion of an existing facility and the application had been received before March 1, 1998. The second condition would be if there was an application for construction of a new facility and the application had been received before March 1, 1998. (Sec. 1(j)(3))

The bill would require that separation distances would be determined from the exterior perimeter of any buildings utilized for housing swine, any lots containing swine, any waste detention lagoons or ponds or other manure or wastewater storage structure, and any additional areas designed by the applicant for future expansion. The distances would not include offices, dwellings, or feed production facilities. (Sec. 1(k))

The bill also would modify current policy of allowing the Secretary of KDHE to reduce the separation distances under certain conditions. One of the current conditions is if the board of county commissioners of the county submits a written request to KDHE seeking a reduction of separation distances. Under provisions of the bill, the county commission would no longer be able to make this request for a reduction of the separation distances for expansion or construction of new swine facilities of more than 3,725 animal units. Separation distances for all sizes of swine facilities would be permitted to be modified if the Secretary of KDHE determines that technological improvements exist to justify the modification of the separation distance. The Secretary could continue to reduce separation distances when no substantial objection from owners of habitable structures is received in response to the notice which is given. (Sec. 1(i)(2)(B) and (C))

The bill would require that the applicant for a swine permit give notice, by certified mail, to all owners of habitable structures within the separation distances. The operator of the facility or of the proposed facility would submit to KDHE evidence that the notice has been given. (Sec. 1(l))

The current law which requires that all plans and specifications submitted to KDHE for new construction or new expansion of feeding facilities for any livestock may be, but are not required to be, prepared by a professional engineer or a consultant would be amended. The bill would amend this provision to require that the engineer or consultant be approved by KDHE. This provision would apply to all confined animal feeding facilities. (Sec. 1(m))

The bill would enact a number of new sections of law dealing specifically with the regulations of confined feeding facilities for swine. The following is a section by section description of the major provisions of the remaining provisions of the bill, all of which relate to confined feeding facilities for swine.

New Sec. 2 would establish a number of new definitions including the following: "best management practices for swine," "swine facility," "swine waste retention lagoon or pond," "swine waste management system," and "significant water pollution potential," "existing swine facility," and "in existence." The term "significant water pollution potential" would be defined to mean any potential for pollution of groundwater or surface water and defined by rules and regulations adopted by the Secretary. In addition, the Secretary would be directed to issue rules and regulations with respect to what constitutes an "animal waste management system."

Section 2 would also establish a definition for the term "application." The term "application" would be defined to mean the application fee, all properly completed and executed documents furnished by the Department and any additional required documents or information necessary for obtaining a permit, including but not limited to a registration, construction plans, specifications, and any required manure management, nutrient utilization, emergency response, odor control, facility closure and dead swine handling plans; or registration with the Department before July 1, 1996, which has not been acted on by the Department before March 1, 1998.

New Sec. 3 would require KDHE to publish in the Kansas Register a notice of receipt of the application for a new swine facility or the expansion of an existing facility which would include, but not be limited to: the names and addresses of the operators and the owners of the property where the facility is located and notice of the availability of more detailed information regarding the facility. After the receipt of an application for a permit or for expansion of an existing facility, KDHE would be required to provide the additional documentation on the Internet and provide additional access to this information at the KDHE district office. The additional documentation would contain all the requirements with which the swine facility must comply and a fact sheet containing information relating to the location of the facility, maps showing water wells located on the facility's property, and a description of the facility including the exterior perimeter of structures and lagoons which would include information of the facility's waste management system. Also required would be a nutrient application plan, including base-line soil tests, and a statement that the applicant will consult with the county extension agent, qualified agronomist, or individual trained in crop protection, in order to ensure correct agronomic rates of application are used and records of those consultations will be maintained. (New Sec. 3(a))

The bill also would require there to be established by rules and regulations of the Secretary of KDHE the form of public notice for a new swine facility or the expansion of an existing facility. The bill would require the notice to be by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the facility is or will be located, to residents in the vicinity, and to local government officials. The bill would require specific information to be provided in the public notification. (New Sec. 3(b) and (c))

The bill would permit KDHE to hold a public meeting or hearing within 60 days after the conclusion of a required 30-day comment period. KDHE would be required to hold a public hearing if a hearing is requested by any owner of a habitable structure within the appropriate separation distance. KDHE would not be permitted to make a determination to approve a permit until the completion of the procedures of this section. In addition, the public hearings would be conducted only for the purpose of issues over which the Secretary of KDHE has authority. The bill also would provide that KDHE could disapprove, at any time, the issuance of a permit without completing the procedures as outlined in the bill. Further, the bill would require that KDHE make a determination to approve or disapprove the issuance of a permit not later than 180 days after the completed application is filed with KDHE. (New Sec. 3 (d), (e), (f), and (g))

The bill would require that an operator of a swine facility submit a registration or application to KDHE before initiating construction or operation of either a swine facility or a swine waste management system. When KDHE finds that no permit is required, construction or operation of the swine facility may be initiated upon issuance of a certification by KDHE. The bill would require that when KDHE determines a permit or permit modification is required, construction may be started upon approval of the application, construction plans, specifications, and swine waste management plan. The bill would prohibit the operation and stocking of a swine facility where a permit is required until KDHE issues a permit. Operations of a permitted swine facility would be prohibited from increasing the number of swine beyond that authorized by the permit until KDHE has issued the modified permit. (New Sec. 3(g))

New Sec. 4 of the bill would prohibit KDHE from approving a permit for the new construction or expansion of a swine facility unless the waste management system is located in the following manner: