Compliance Issues and COVID-19

Model of COVID-19 virus

COVID-19 is creating issues across the country. As packing plants close, and demand for certain products change, problems are created for many livestock producers. Increased livestock numbers and dumping of milk are two problems currently being faced by livestock producers. From a regulatory standpoint, what do livestock producers need to do?

Increased Numbers of Livestock due to COVID-19

  • Permitted CAFOs that have nutrient management plans (NMPs) based on a maximum number of animals should update their NMP if they exceed the maximum number of livestock for three or more months.

  • Non-permitted AFOs and CAFOs have no restrictions regarding the number of livestock; but, no discharges should occur. An increase in livestock numbers during the winter months may create compliance issues.

Disposal of Surplus Milk

  • Waste from milk processing, wash water, and disinfectants is considered wastewater and may not be discharged to septic systems, or to waters of the state.
  • Land application must follow manure management guidelines.
  • View information on land application of milk.

What to do if you have trouble meeting the regulations?

  • First, steps should be taken to prevent discharges. If discharges cannot be avoided, steps should be taken to minimize any discharge.
  • If discharges are likely to occur, you should contact the Utah Division of Water Quality (DWQ) as early as possible.
  • For issues arising from COVID-19 (e.g., increases in livestock numbers), the DWQ can help you work through the issue(s), and determine if you qualify for an “upset” exemption.