Colorado animal feeding operation fee bill clears all hurdles in senate
GREELEY, Colo., — Since its introduction in the senate in early January, SB18-033 the Environmental Ag Program Fee Bill, has moved swiftly through the senate and passed third reading on the senate floor. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, Reps. Jeni Arndt and Jon Becker, continues the current fee structure for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Environmental Ag Program.
Colorado Livestock Association wholeheartedly supports SB18-033 which provides for the continuation of the Ag Program and replaces the July 1, 2018, repeal date for the CDPHE Environmental Ag Program with a repeal date of July 1, 2025.
The Environmental Ag Program permits and registers concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and house commercial swine feeding operations (HCSFOs) to ensure protection of surface and groundwater resources. Since 1999, this program has been supported by cash fees paid by the regulated livestock facilities.
CLA members were instrumental in the creation of this program when leaders at the time recognized a need for one place within the department where livestock producers could obtain the required permits and pay fees related to livestock feeding operations.
Today, the Environmental Ag Program focuses on compliance assistance, permitting and compliance assurance activities and collaborates with the agricultural sector through guidance, compliance assistance tools, annual stakeholder meetings and quarterly newsletters.
CLA members, Norm Dinis, Empire Dairy and Justin Miller, JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding testified in support of the bill in front of the Senate Ag Committee. During their testimony, they each described their personal experience and the collaborative relationship that has been cultivated over the years between livestock agriculture and the Environmental Ag Program staff.
The bill will now move to the Colorado State House of Representatives.