Serving Franklin County, WA

Proposed 'odor management' rule creates controversy farms

OLYMPIA – The state Board of Health is wading into manure management with a proposed “odor management” rule.

But farmers are calling bull, noting its duplicative and unnecessary overregulation of animal waste by the state.

Under the Dairy Nutrient Management and Federal Clean Water Acts, manure is already regulated by the state Departments of Ecology and Agriculture.

State Board of Health officials declined to comment on the objection It calls a “misconception” in a so-called fact sheet available online.

According to the fact sheet, the new odor management proposal is different because it “focuses on waste when it is first excreted by.

Farming advocates are not convinced.

“In addition to duplicated effort, the proposed rule is a violation of the state’s Right to Farm Law, which prohibits requiring farm owners from odor management – a primary component of the proposed rule,” Washington Policy Center’s Initiative of Agriculture Director Pam Lewison told The Center Square.

The proposed rule mandates control of odors, fly attraction, rodents and other vectors for stockpiled livestock waste.

Lewison says if the proposal gets codified as a new rule, taxpayers’ money will be wasted along with hindering farmers' right to farm.

“Knee-jerk policy that works against farmers and ranchers around our state has been the rule of the day for the last three years and it has been escalating in its severity,” she said.


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