Because of high fuel prices, more and more poultry farmers are exploring the possibility of composting on farm poultry mortalities. Composting is an approved method of mortality disposal and is environmentally friendly. However, a permit from NCDA&CS is required for a poultry farmer to construct and operate a compost facility.
Obtaining a permit is fairly simple but does require a certain amount of time and documentation. I will be glad to work with any poultry farmer that would like to begin composting poultry mortality. You may reach me, James Parsons, at 910-296-2143 or 910-289-7624. The following information is required and was copied from NCDA&CS publications. The N.C. Farm ID premises document is not included, but I can provide this document and assist in its completion.
The following information must be supplied with the letter or email request:
1. owner’s name, address, county and telephone number
2. exact farm location (lat/long in decimal degrees by GPS - Vet Division field staff can assist).
3. N.C. Farm ID premises identification number for the facility location.
4. poultry/swine contract company involved, if any.
5. size and type of operation.
6. a topographical site map of the area with distances from the facility to property boundaries, dwellings, outbuildings, roads, any free-flowing water, and other applicable information regarding the general topography within 500 feet of the proposed facility (see No. 8, “Stipulations”).
7. a copy of the lease agreement, if the facility or the distribution of the final product is on leased property, including a signed statement by the lessor that they are aware and acceptable to such use of their property.
8. a description of the facility design and operation, including:
• capacity and size of facility, plans or drawing of the facility.
• process flow diagram and expected process duration for complete composting.
• temperature monitoring plan - frequency and locations of monitoring.
• method(s) of aeration, including turning frequency or type mechanical aeration.
• method to control surface water run-on and run-off.
• method to control, collect, treat, and dispose of leachate generated in such a manner that it will not be allowed to adversely impact ground or surface waters.
•method to control odors, dust, flies, rodents, and vermin.
• method to provide security and prevent uncontrolled public access.
• if a poultry composting facility, include drawing of the facility.
Pursuant to State Statutes 106-403 and 143-215.10C and NCAC 52C.0102, please be advised of the following Conditions and Stipulations*:
1. all North Carolina solid waste, air, water quality, and other applicable regulations must be met in siting and operation of the system**
2. only poultry or swine are to be processed in this facility; NO bovine, caprine, ovine or cervid species shall be processed
3. mortality to be processed shall originate only from the identified premises and the finished product is used solely on agricultural operations owned, operated, or leased, by the permitee
4. the final product of the process must be stored, treated and utilized in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and permit requirements; the final product shall not be sold
5. temperatures shall be within NRCS guidelines to reach a minimum of 131 degrees F within 5 days of filling the unit and remain at least at 131 degrees F for a minimum of 5 consecutive days to maintain the composting process and reduce pathogen load
6. dead animals are not to be removed from composting until all flesh, internal organs, and other soft tissue are fully decomposed
7. the proposed facility shall have the following minimum setback requirements*:
• 100-foot buffer between all property lines and compost areas.
• 100-foot buffer between all wells and compost areas, except for monitoring wells.
• 50-foot buffer between perennial streams/rivers and compost areas.
• 500-foot buffer between dwellings and compost areas.
8. a copy of the permit, plans, and operational reports shall be maintained on site and be available upon request by NCDA&CS, Veterinary Division personnel.
9. the facility and operational records shall be available for annual inspection be Veterinary Division personnel and shall be sent to the Veterinary Division upon request.
10. operational reports shall include temperature monitoring during initial facility start-up and follow-up records that contain either 10 days/month or annual laboratory results of pathogen load testing.
11. an application for a permit modification shall be required for changes in facility ownership, an increase in facility capacity, or any other changes from the stipulations of this permit.
12. the Veterinary Division must be immediately notified of any complicating issues involving animal disease or environmental concerns.
13. The State Veterinarian reserves the right to cancel this permit if a specific concern for controlling animal disease arises, or if any of the aforementioned conditions are not met.
This document shall in no circumstances be interpreted as an endorsement of any specific manufacturer or type of mortality management system by the State Veterinarian and the Office of the State Veterinarian does not approve or disapprove the technical or performance standards for specific makes or designs of equipment.
*Additional requirements and regulations will apply from DENR, Division of Solid Waste Management if application for off-farm disposition of composted material is requested (see G.S. 130A-309.29 and 15A NCAC 13B, Section .1400).
**NCDA&CS, Veterinary Division strongly encourages permit applicants to seek the technical assistance of a NRCS - USDA official in planning, developing, and carrying out this project.
North Carolina State University and North Carolina A& T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.