2011 updates to Michigan Siting GAAMPs

Recent changes to the Michigan Department of Agriculture Siting GAAMPs are important to livestock producers planning building projects in 2011

The Michigan Right-to-Farm law provides for annual review and updating of all the generally accepted agriculture management practices (GAAMPs). The Michigan Ag Commission reviews and approves or rejects the suggested changes provided by each specific GAAMP review committee.  The 2011 GAAMPs for Siting and Odor Control for New and Expanding Livestock Operations (Siting GAAMPs) accepted by the Ag. Commission during their February meeting, contain significant changes. These changes may affect livestock operations currently planning building projects for 2011.

Property line setbacks:

Under their past interpretation of the Siting GAAMPs, Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) staff mrmnrt, using the results of the farm’s odor management plan and MI OFFSET, could allow significant reductions in the GAAMP listed property line setbacks. Property line setbacks for; Category 1 Sites - New, Category 1 Sites – Expanding, Category 2 Sites – New, and Category 2 Sites – Expanding, are listed in Tables 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively in both the 2010 and the updated 2011 Siting GAAMPs. During their 2010 deliberations, the siting GAAMP review committee recommended there be additional structure within the GAAMPs for determining property line setback reductions.

The 2011 Siting GAAMPs approved by the Ag Commission restricts MDA authorization to grant variances of the listed property line setbacks to no more than 50% of the values stated in the tables. All new livestock operations must have a minimum of 250 feet property line setback and expanding operations must have a minimum of 125 feet. MDA will only grant further property line reductions if the request for site verification contains a letter of approval for the reduced setbacks from the impacted property owner or owners.

Factors used by MDA to determine property line setback variances will continue to include the farm’s odor management plan and results of the MI OFFSET for the site but beginning in 2011 MDA will also consider local zoning maps. MDA may ask producers to include those maps as part of their request for site verification. Also new for 2011, requests for property line setback reductions must be made in advance of MDA’s site suitability approval.

Migrant labor camps

The 2011 siting GAAMPs establish a minimum separation distance of 500 feet from all migrant labor camps for all new and expanding livestock operations. Requests for further reductions must be approved by the United States Department of Labor.

All producers and consults are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the changes to 2011 Siting GAAMPs and the Site Verification Checklist prior to requesting MDA site verification.

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