WCPA Industry News Quarterly Volume 7. Issue 3 [PDF]
by Tom Culp
As some readers might recall, BT Squared wrote about The Town of Dunkirk’s groundbreaking ordinance regarding the storage of liquid fertilizer enacted in 2009 in the WCPA Quarterly News back in December. At that time the Township was just embarking on the implementation of the ordinance, working with facilities that might be affected. This is the first ordinance of its kind in the state regulating bulk liquid fertilizer storage on private farms. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) has regulations pertaining to the commercial bulk storage of fertilizer and pesticides, but these typically apply to commercial facilities that store unpackaged bulk fertilizer or pesticides, not privately run farms.
Upon review of the farms within the Township, three farms fell under the new ordinance. One chose to move their tanks outside of the township to avoid regulation, and BT Squared provided inspections at the other two farms under a contract with the Township. The Township split the cost of the inspection with the farms to minimize their financial impact. While both farms had adequate secondary storage volume, the inspections revealed some common items that were not in compliance, including:
The ordinance requires farms that have fertilizer storage exceeding the threshold limits to apply for a permit for the construction, maintenance, or operation of any bulk liquid fertilizer storage. All new construction was required to adhere to the ordinance immediately, whereas storage facilities that were in place prior to the ordinance had one year to comply with the ordinance and apply for a permit. An affected facility submitted a permit application and was then inspected by a third party inspector. After the inspection, the facility was notified of any out of compliance items, offered feedback on how to correct them, and given a deadline for bringing the system into compliance.
With the successful implementation of the Town of Dunkirk on-farm storage ordinance, the groundwork is in place for other municipalities in the State of Wisconsin to adopt similar ordinances to protect local groundwater supplies. To learn more about the Town of Dunkirk ordinance and the issues surrounding on-farm storage, contact Tom Culp at BT Squared email@example.com or 608.216.7340.