The Maryland Department of the Environment's AFO Division helps protect the Chesapeake Bay, local waterways, and our drinking water from nutrient pollution from Maryland's largest agricultural animal operations. The AFO Regulations and General Discharge (GD) Permit for AFOs are just one part of a comprehensive, statewide effort to address all sources of pollution that are impairing our waterways: wastewater treatment plants, industrial discharges, septic systems, urban/suburban stormwater runoff, and air emissions from power plants, vehicles, and trucks. If you need to contact the AFO Division, call 410-537-3314.
According to state law and regulation, MDE is legally required to collect fees for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). In September 2019, MDE proposed draft regulations that would have reduced GD Permit fees for CAFOs, however, the Office of the Attorney General and a committee within the Maryland General Assembly recently informed MDE that it may not adopt its lower fee proposal. Due to these actions, the following fees will be applicable to CAFOs applying for the GD Permit:
CAFOs with Total House Capacity of 350,000 ft2 or More:
CAFOs with Total House Capacity of LESS than 350,000 ft2:
As notified previously, the deadline to submit a NOI and Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) for coverage under the new GD Permit was September 6, 2020. CNMPs only need to be submitted with the NOI if MDE does not already have a current one on file. If you have not yet submitted your NOI and CNMP, please do so promptly. After these items are received, MDE will send you an invoice for the appropriate fee amount.
MDE is prohibited from issuing permit coverage under the new GD Permit until the applicable fee is paid. Please keep in mind, if you are an existing operation that was registered under the prior (14AF/AFA) GD Permit, and you submitted the Notice of Continued Operation (NOCO) form as well as your NOI and CNMP within the designated timeframes- you are still covered under the prior GD Permit
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. John Sullivan, Resource Management Program Manager, at (410) 537-3314 or email@example.com.
a. New (19AF) AFO Permit
b. New (19AF) Notice of Intent (NOI)
a. New (19AF) AFO Permit
a. AFO Size Chart
b. Diagram to Determine if you need the GD Permit
c. Frequently Asked Questions
d. New Source Design Criteria
e. Setback Requirements and Approved Alternatives
f. USDA-NRCS Contact List
g. Catastrophic Poultry Mortality Guidance
a. Letter for AFO Withdrawal
b. Letter for AFO Transfer
a. Nutrient Land Application Log Sheet
b. Weekly Storage and Containment Structure Inspections Log Sheet
c. Weekly Wastewater Facilities Inspections Log Sheet
d. Manure, Litter, and Wastewater Storage Structures Documentation
e. Manure Application Equipment Inspection and Calibration Record
f. Manure, Litter, and Wastewater Transfer Record
g. Daily Water Line Inspection Log Sheet
In accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.08.04.09N(k), the following person(s) have requested that the Department conduct a public hearing regarding the Department's approval of the listed AFO(s)' required plan(s):
Notice is given that the Department will hold (a) public hearing(s) regarding the approval of the required plan(s) at 6:00 PM on the following date(s) and at the following location(s):
Once you have determined that you are a CAFO or a MAFO, you must submit to MDE a NOI Form. CAFOs and MAFOs are also required to submit a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) that is developed in accordance with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) technical standards. The required plan(s) must comply with the requirements in COMAR 26.08.04.09N(3)(b) and federal regulations in 40 CFR 122.42(e). DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU GET YOUR REQUIRED PLAN(S) TO SEND IN YOUR NOI if you are required to have permit coverage. To apply for assistance in obtaining a CNMP, contact your local NRCS office. Assistance with NMPs or Conservation Plans can be obtained from your district office.
If you are a corporation, in order to obtain coverage under the GD Permit, you must be registered and in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). The business or entity’s information provided in the NOI must match the information in the SDAT register.
When to Submit a NOI and Required Plan to the Department:
Maryland Department of the EnvironmentLand and Materials Administration1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 610Baltimore, MD 21230-1719
Click on the links below for additional information
Maryland's General Discharge Permit for Animal Feeding Operations (General Discharge Permit 09AF, MDG01) has been upheld as a valid general permit by the Maryland courts. This removes uncertainty for AFOs that the GD Permit is legally sufficient. All AFOs that meet the requirements for needing coverage under the GD Permit should submit an NOI and the required plans, if they have not already done so. See Letter I (below) for more information on the history of the GD Permit. This GD Permit was renewed on December 1, 2014.
All concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that are registered under the "General Discharge Permit for Animal Feeding Operations" are required to submit their CAFO/MAFO Annual Implementation Reports (AIR) by March 1st of every year covering the previous calendar year.
For the last several years, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) have consolidated their respective annual reports for AFOs. Applicable livestock and poultry farmers will receive one consolidated AIR Form from MDA. Once completed, this AIR Form should be mailed back to MDA, who will, in turn, forward the AFO AIRs to MDE.
If your operation is required to submit an AFO annual report and you have not received it, please contact your local MDA field office. These forms and instructions are also available on the MDA website, www.mda.maryland.gov. Follow the "Nutrient Management" link.
MDE has developed guidance on how to handle catastrophic poultry mortalities here. This document provides a summary of the regulations and practices to be used in cases where a large number of chickens have died due to excessive heat, fires, or disease. Mortalities must be composted in facilities designed for that purpose. If these cannot accommodate a catastrophic mortality, MDE must be notified and give permission to compost in other areas, such as in poultry houses or manure sheds.
MDE has established new "approved alternatives" to the 100-foot setback standards required of CAFOs and MAFOs. As required under Maryland's AFO regulations and permit, MDE consulted with the MDA, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the University of Maryland Extension in their deliberations in establishing these approved alternatives. The alternatives will give CAFOs and MAFOs additional practices to use during the development of a farm's comprehensive nutrient management plan or nutrient management plan for application of manure. The "Setback Requirements and Approved Alternatives" document describes these alternatives.
Click here for the 2019 Maryland Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Container Recycling Program
The renewed GD Permit that became effective on December 1, 2014 was recently modified pursuant to the Department, Food & Water Watch, and the Assateague Coastal Trust's Consent Order and to clarify two other provisions of the GD Permit not subject to the Consent Order. These modifications were published as a Tentative Determination in the Salisbury Daily Times on March 3 and 10, 2016, the Queen Anne's Record Observer on March 4 and 11, 2016, and the Frederick News-Post on March 1 and 8, 2016. No comments were received and in accordance with COMAR 26.08.04.01-3 A(1) the Tentative Determination became a Final Determination on April 4, 2016.The GD Permit was modified as follows:
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