CANADA - Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship has said that new hog barns built under a new pilot project will be required to meet or exceed the level of environmental protection provided through the use of anaerobic digestion, writes Bruce Cochrane.
In 2011 the Manitoba government extended a ban on the construction or expansion of swine barns to the entire province.
Under the new special pilot project permit evaluation protocol, anyone interested in building or expanding a swine operation in Manitoba will now be eligible to apply for a construction permit.
Tracey Braun, the director of environmental approvals with Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, explained the objective of the pilot project is to balance environmental protection with sustainability under the existing legislation.
Tracey Braun-Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship:
The legislation does allow for special permits and pilot projects to be recommended or suggested and so we worked with Manitoba Pork Council to see if that was one opportunity that we could pursue under the current legislation.
The criterion that we used is that the level of environment protection for anything that would be done under one of these permits would have to meet or exceed the environmental protection of using an anaerobic digester.
We believe that, if a person or an entity or an organisation wishes to make an application to do an expansion, what they need to do is to fill out a permit and go through that process and be able to demonstrate to us that they've met that same level of environmental protection.
It's not dissimilar to how we would treat something like in the manufacturing industry where someone may want to build a manufacturing plant.
We tell them what the standards are for environmental protection but we don't tell them how they have to meet those limits.
Ms Braun said she expects the first applications under the program to come in later this year.
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