The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will hold an open house and a public meeting on the draft Permit to Install (PTI) and draft Permit to Operate (PTO) for Van Deurzen Dairy, LLC on June 1, 2010, in the Upper Scioto Valley School, 510 South Courtright Street, in McGuffey. This has been rescheduled from a previously announced date of May 19.

The open house, which begins at 6:00 p.m., is an opportunity for the public to talk directly with the ODA staff and ask questions about the permits. This is followed by a public meeting at 7:00 p.m. where interested parties can submit oral or written comments on-the-record concerning the draft permits. Written comments can also be delivered or mailed to the ODA Livestock Environmental Permitting Program, 8995 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068. These comments must be received by ODA no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 8, which is five business days after the public meeting. Comments received after June 8 will not be considered by the agriculture director before making a determination on the Van Deurzen Dairy, LLC final permits.

Copies of the Van Deurzen Dairy, LLC draft Permit to Install and draft Permit to Operate may be reviewed and/or copies made at the ODA Livestock Environmental Permitting Program office. The permit can also be viewed at the Hardin Soil and Water Conversation District Office, 12751 State Route 309 West, in Kenton. Those interested should call the SWCD office at (419) 673-0456, Ext. 3, and make an appointment. Written comments cannot be submitted to the Hardin SWCD office.

Van Deurzen Dairy, LLC is located in Hardin County, Marion Township, at 2500 County Road 110, Alger, which is in the Upper Scioto River watershed. The facility is owned and operated by Van Deurzen Dairy, LLC, whose member is Walter Van Deurzen.

Van Deurzen has extended an invitation for the public to tour the dairy operation between 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., prior to the ODA open house and public meeting.

In April 2005, the department issued a Permit to Install to construct the dairy at the current design capacity of 4,500 mature dairy cows and a Permit to Operate for a period of five years, after which time the owner was required to apply for a PTO renewal.

Annual manure production from the facility currently is about 55.2 million gallons per year, including washwater and captured rainfall and runoff. Dairy cows are housed in three existing freestall barns. The facility has five existing manure storage ponds with a combined storage capacity of 50.4 million gallons, estimated to provide 355 days of storage. A sand lane system and a mechanical solids separator are being used to separate the liquid and solid fractions of the manure and recycle the sand bedding material. The facility has 318,000 cubic feet of available storage for separated manure solids and mortality compost.

Overview of the draft Permit to Install

The draft PTI proposes to construct two new freestall barns with a combined design capacity of 2,495 mature dairy cows, bringing the total design capacity of the facility to 6,995 mature dairy cows.

Annual manure production would increase to an estimated 56.5 million gallons per year, including captured rainfall and runoff and facility washwater. The washwater usage volume in the 2005 permit application was estimated to be 19.7 million gallons per year. With this draft PTI, the washwater volume would be reduced to 10.2 million gallons per year. This change in the washwater volume is based on measurements of current water usage per milking and a reduction in the number of times per day the cows are milked (three times daily to only twice daily).

No additional manure storage structures are proposed to be constructed with this PTI. The five existing manure storage ponds will provide an estimated 296 days of storage for liquid manure, as well as the direct rainfall and runoff from a 100-year, 24-hour storm event.

Overview of the draft Permit to Operate

The draft Permit to Operate would regulate the operations for the entire facility with plans for manure management, insect and rodent control, mortality management and emergency response. The PTO would be valid for a five-year period, at which time the owner would be required to apply for renewal.

The draft PTO includes an updated Manure Management Plan (MMP) to accommodate the increased manure production from the additional 2,495 cows. After the proposed expansion, the facility would produce an estimated 56.5 million gallons of liquid manure and 11,600 tons of solid manure annually. The liquid manure would be distributed to and utilized by a local farmer who is also regulated by ODA as a Certified Livestock Manager (CLM). Under the control of the CLM, the liquid manure would be applied to over 3,400 acres of nearby farmland to recycle nutrients and to augment or replace the use of commercial synthetic fertilizers. Based on recent laboratory analyses, the estimated annual nutrients contained in the liquid manure would be 178,000 lbs of available nitrogen, 209,000 lbs of phosphate and 536,000 lbs of potash.

The solid manure would be distributed to and utilized by area farmers to augment or replace the use of commercial synthetic fertilizers on nearby cropland. Based on the most recent laboratory analyses, the estimated annual nutrients contained in the solid manure would be 21,000 lbs of available nitrogen, 18,300 lbs of phosphate and 35,500 lbs of potash.

An Insect and Rodent Control plan is required as part of the draft PTO to minimize the presence and negative effects of insects and rodents. It includes daily monitoring of fly and rodent populations as well as specific housekeeping measures to eliminate fly and rodent breeding and feeding opportunities. More detail on the Insect and Rodent Control Plan can be found in the draft PTO.

A Mortality Management Plan is also required for the disposal of dead animals. Approved methods for disposal are burying, burning, rendering, landfilling or composting. This facility has selected composting as its method of mortality disposal.

An Emergency Response Plan is the last plan required by the draft PTO to ensure accidents or emergencies are handled quickly and efficiently to maintain the safety of the employees, environment, wildlife and water supplies. Any manure spills would be halted and contained, the proper authorities would be notified, and the area would be cleaned and restored to the original condition. Emergency equipment contacts and equipment, such as irrigation pumps, bulldozers, backhoes and vacuum slurry tanks, are identified in the plan.

Finally, an Operating Record is contained in the draft PTO that includes all forms and information that must be maintained by the facility to show compliance with ODA's rules. These records include inspection of the manure storage structures, manure characterization, insect and rodent control, distribution and utilization of manure, and mortality management. These records would be inspected by the department at least twice annually.