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The Implications of Environmental Regulation on Urban Agriculture Or, What To Do With All That Waste Devin Kenney.

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Presentation on theme: "The Implications of Environmental Regulation on Urban Agriculture Or, What To Do With All That Waste Devin Kenney."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Implications of Environmental Regulation on Urban Agriculture Or, What To Do With All That Waste Devin Kenney

2 I will address: Environmental Law and Agriculture Generally Food Labeling: What it Means and Does Not Mean to Grow Organic Food Labeling and Standards Waste Disposal & Management Pesticide Use and the Urban Farmer Alternatives to Pesticides

3 So, What Does ‘Organic’ Mean, Exactly? -An “Organic” Product is an agricultural product produced in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. § 6501) and relevant regulations (7 C.F.R. § 205) -These regulations relate, among other things, to soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives

4 So, Wait... Organic Farms Use Pesticide? Rotentone Organic: an ‘organic pesticide’ is one that is non-synthetic; that is, made from natural material. However, this does not mean that these pesticides are any less toxic or dangerous Inorganic: an ‘inorganic pesticide’ is anything else For particulars, see National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (7 C.F.R. §§ 205.602-606)

5 Organic Practices -In order to be labeled “USDA Organic,” a product must be in compliance with the Organic Foods Production Act -Growers: DON’T use prohibited substances OR GMO’S -Livestock: DO raise animals in living conditions accommodating natural behaviors. DO feed animals 100% organic grain and forage. DON’T administer antibiotics or hormones -Packaged products: DON’T use artificial preservatives, colors or flavors and DO use only organic ingredients, with a few minor exceptions -No organic foods may be grown or handled with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

6 Benefits of Organic Farming (or, Why Should I Care?) $20 billion in sales in 2007; $28 billion in 2012 (over 4% of total at-home food sales) (Courtesy USDA) Organic Pesticides are natural and break down faster Organic produce may contain larger amounts of certain vitamins Theoretically, Organic farming is more sustainable and eco- friendly For example, produce can be called Organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Use of Organic Labels

7 Why Does Waste Matter? Agricultural Waste In 2000, agricultural activity was identified as a source of pollution for 48% of stream and river water, and for 41% of lake water. (Courtesy Food Waste Roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted globally each year (Courtesy s/food-waste/) Courtesy: better-use-of-food-and-green- waste/#.UuKfyhAo61s

8 Agricultural Waste: Management & Disposal Legal Background Agricultural Waste is regulated by US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and MI DEQ (Dep’t of Environmental Quality) The Waste Generator (that is the farmer) is responsible for all wastes generated, including both hazardous and nonhazardous wastes For specific guidelines, see gct/twas.html Wastes include: Solid Nonhazardous Waste Hazardous Waste Used Oil Biological Waste

9 What is Right to Right-to-Farm (“RTF”)? Enacted to provide farmers with nuisance protection. Authorizes the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop and adopt Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (“GAAMPs”) for farms and farm operations in Michigan

10 OK then, What Are GAAMPs? GAAMPS are farm management practices scientifically based and updated annually to utilize current technology to promote sound environmental stewardship Although GAAMPS are voluntary and adherence to the GAAMPs does not act as a complete barrier to complaints or lawsuits, it provides an umbrella of protection from nuisance litigation. In addition to conformance to the GAAMPs, farmers also need to comply with all state and federal environmental and agricultural laws Nuisance: A condition, activity, or situation (such as a loud noise or foul odor) that interferes with the use or enjoyment of property Example: Nutrient management practices include regular soil testing, manure nutrient analysis, and realistic crop yield goals and Pesticide/Pest Control management practices address worker safety, application procedures, transportation, storage, disposal of unused pesticides and containers, and record keeping.

11 Disposal of Nonhazardous Wastes Composting (Mich. Comp. Laws 324.11521(3)) Must be done in accordance with generally accepted agricultural and management practices under Right to Farm Act (“GAAMPS”); and Only “clippings” from the farm are composted Basically anything left over after harvest or cut off of plants while growing Special Rules apply if there are more than 5,000 cubic yards of yard clippings on the farm

12 Composting Resources Local Businesses Offering Composting Services: Detroit Dirt ( The Heiress Compost ( /) / Detroit Greencycle (http://www.detroitgreencycle. com/Services.html)http://www.detroitgreencycle. com/Services.html Detroit Nutrient Company (http://detroitnutrientcompany. com/compost_tea_workshop)http://detroitnutrientcompany. com/compost_tea_workshop Also offers workshops and compost information sessions to produce your own Courtesy The Ann Arbor News

13 Other Alternatives Aquaponics Fish fertilize water, which is filtered by plants and returns to fish Courtesy The Aquaponics Source

14 Pesticides -OBEY THAT DARN LABEL! -Store (and use) all pesticides in accordance with the label or face potential criminal and/or civil liability The longer you store a pesticide that you no longer use the more likely... the container will deteriorate and release the contents. the product label will become detached, lost or unreadable. The result is the container contents can no longer be identified. someone unaware of the dangers may accidentally knock over, handle or open a pesticide container and become exposed to harmful chemicals. the location and contents of the stored pesticides may be forgotten.

15 Pesticide Disposal Never Dump Pesticides into Storm Drains Never throw away pesticide containers unless completely empty Always obey the label; the label is the law -Clean Sweep Program: listed sites accept pesticide products and mercury free of charge from any resident; however, they are not required to handle other types of hazardous waste from residents outside their respective counties Ingham County Ingham County Health Department 5303 South Cedar Lansing, MI 48909 At this time, there is no comparable site in Wayne County; contact the site nearest you for disposal Courtesy UC Davis

16 Integrated Pest Management -Set Action Thresholds -Monitor and Identify Pests -Prevention -Control Courtesy

17 Natural Pest Control Bluebirds and other songbirds eat millions of insect pests per year; lacewing larvae may consume up to 100 insect pests per day. For example, in Costa Rica, the Yellow Warbler eats enough insects to save the average coffee plantation owner $9,400 per year (Courtesy Environmental News Network) For information on attracting bluebirds and other songbirds to your area, see Fact/bluebirdfacts.htm

18 Solid Waste Solid waste means any garbage or refuse; sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility; and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities. Courtesy West Michigan Environmental Council

19 Used Oil Used Oil is: Oil from fossil fuels or derived from synthetic materials, not Animal or Vegetable Oil Used (as a lubricant, hydraulic fluid, etc.) Contaminated through use If your farming operation produces less than 25 gallons per month you are exempt from regulations. Those producing more are required to store it in tanks and used authorized transporters for disposal Even if exempt you should engage in best practices, such as: Labeling tanks and containers Keeping tanks and containers in good condition Storing in proper containers Not mixing used oil with hazardous waste Courtesy

20 So, what do I take home from this? -Organic Farming can be very beneficial and represents a very lucrative market -No registration is required to compost any waste that is generated on a farm operation, unless you are bringing large quantities of waste from somewhere else onto your land -OBEY the Label. The Label is the law.

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