This bill is somewhat similar to a requirement included in H. 35 as introduced. This bill would require the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets to certify the operation of custom applicators of manure, nutrients, sludge, or other solid waste from a manure pit or digester. On or after April 1, 2016, custom applicators for large and medium farms who apply manure, nutrients, sludge, or other solid waste from a manure pit or digester in a watershed of a nutrient impaired lake would need to be certified by the Secretary. On or after January 1, 2019, custom applicators for any farms who apply manure, nutrients, sludge, or other solid waste from a manure pit or digester in a watershed of a nutrient impaired lake would need to be certified by the Secretary.

These requirements would not apply to an owner or operator of a farm applying nutrients to a field she or he owns or controls, unless that field is located in a watershed with a nutrient impaired lake.

The certification process would require a custom applicator to complete 8 hours of training over a 5-year period.   A certified custom applicator may train seasonal employees, with the custom applicator held liable for self-trained seasonal employees.

This bill also specifies that prior to January 1, 2019, small farms located in a watershed of a nutrient impaired lake shall be given first priority for incentive grants for nutrient management planning under 6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 3.

Status: Read for the first time on 1/23/15 and referred to the Committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources.

Click here to read the current version of this bill.

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