After extensive consultation with the farming sector, including with Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), Dairy Australia and others, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has instituted a low burden process for managing the use of manures.
Under the livestock manure and effluent determination, farmers will not have to fill out forms just to use manure as fertilizer, so long as it meets set specifications and poses minimal risk to the environment.
The determination defines livestock manure and effluent as:
- faecal matter generated by livestock
- any mixture of livestock faecal matter and biodegradable animal bedding such as:
- livestock faecal matter in liquid form, and
- wastewater from collection or treatment systems that are ancillary to livestock management.
Examples of primary production faecal matter or animal bedding include:
- manures or effluent from dairy sheds and piggeries
- manure from dairy feedpads and cattle feedlots
- spent chicken litter.
Manures in excess of 20m3 per month may be received and deposited to land in line with the specification in the determination. For smaller volumes, farmers are deemed authorised to receive and deposit up to 20m3 per month of manure without any further regulatory requirements.
Farmers do not need EPA permission to supply or accept and use manures if they meet the specifications in the determination, unless they are engaged in industries such as recycling or processing.
More information is available via the How to comply with the livestock manure and effluent determination factsheet.
Spreading manure generated on-farm
The manure determination does not apply to manures generated and used on-farm. However, you are still required to comply with General Environmental Duty (GED), provided the manure:
- only comprises manure (as defined above); and
- is spread on the farm where it was generated, i.e. not imported from another farm.
Please note that this doesn’t take into account other requirements such as planning permit conditions.
Farmers importing and/or exporting manure
- For volumes over 20m3 per month, parties will need to comply with the manure determination, in addition to the GED.
- If the waste is taken off-farm for a different purpose, such as composting or for use in a biodigester, then the waste must be taken to a permissioned site (e.g. A07 – organic waste processing, refer to Schedule 1 of the EP Regulations).
- For volumes under 20m3 per month that are deposited on another farm for application to land, then only the GED applies.
Ultimately the Livestock and Manure and Effluent Determination was crafted to allow farmers to continue to apply manure to land without needing EPA approval. Farmers should still use to best practice management when applying manures to land to meet their obligations under the GED.
For more information go to https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/determinations
*The contents of this page is material distributed from Environmental Protection Authority Victoria