interim joint committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources



Minutes of the First Meeting

of the 2000-01 Interim


 August 24, 2000


The first meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on  Agriculture and Natural Resources was held on Thursday, August 24, 2000, at 10:00 AM, at the Kentucky State Fair Board Room, in Louisville, Kentucky.  Senator Ernie Harris, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:



Senator Ernie Harris, Chair; Senators Brett Guthrie, Paul Herron, Vernie McGaha, Joey Pendleton, and Ed Worley; Representatives Royce Adams, Scott Alexander, Woody Allen, Adrian Arnold, Sheldon Baugh, James Bruce, Dwight Butler, Mike Cherry, Phillip Childers, Hubert Collins, Jim Gooch, Charlie Hoffman, Thomas McKee, Fred Nesler, William Scott, Dottie Sims, Jim Stewart, Gary Tapp, Roger Thomas, Mark Treesh, Johnnie Turner, Tommy Turner, Kenneth Upchurch, Robin Webb, and Brent Yonts.



Senate President David Williams; Representative Pete Worthington; James Bickford,  Secretary of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet;  Tom Bennett, Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; Kentucky State Fair Board Members: Jan Cave, Mary Ann Cronan, Jim Ellis, Mary Kate Gatton, Gib Gosser, Lanny Dale Greer, Charles Hamilton, Bruce Harper, William M. Kuegel, Oran Little, Skipper Martin, Rita Phillips, Thomas Schifano, Billy Ray Smith, Commissioner of Agriculture; William Tolle, and Harold Workman; Bill Crist, Jack McAllister, Ruth Porter, Margie Durham, Wade Helm, Noil Allen, Charles Miller, Aloms Dew, Donna Thurman-Knight, John-Mark Hack, Director of the Governor's Office on Agriculture Policy; Rebecca Freeman, Kentucky Farm Bureau; Ronny Pryor, Lorillard Tobacco Company; Charles Miller, Ky Cattlemen's Association; Joel Neaveill, Governor's Office on Agriculture Policy; Charles Bates, Sue Ann Salmon, Karol Welch, Dennis Liptrap, Bill Payne, John Porter, Ira Linville, and Tom Fitzgerald, Kentucky Resource Council.


LRC Staff: 

Dan Risch, Biff Baker, Brad Wellons, Nancy Osborne, Jason Underwood, and Wanda Gay.


Chairman Ernie Harris opened the meeting by welcoming new members to the committee.  He also asked the committee to let him know of any suggestions for topics to be reviewed by the committee.  Senator Harris then thanked Mr. Bill Kuegel, Chairperson, State Fair Board, for allowing the committee to meet with the State Fair Board.


Mr. Kuegel introduced Mr. Harold Workman, the State Fair Board CEO.  Mr. Workman thanked the committee members for their past involvement in maintaining the State Fairgrounds and Louisville Convention Center as top tier convention facilities.  He mentioned the continuing expansion of the South Wing as class "A" exhibition space.


Next, Chairman Harris recognized LRC staff members Kim Burch and Andrew Cammack, who recently left state government service.


Commissioner Tom Bennett of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources next explained and answered questions regarding changes to administrative regulations 301 KAR 1:015, 301 KAR 2:111, 301 KAR 2:172, 301 KAR 2:178, 301 KAR 2:179, 301 KAR 2:221, 301 KAR 2:251, 301 KAR 3:026, and 301 KAR 6:005.  The regulations relate to boats and motor restrictions, deer and turkey hunting on federal areas, deer hunting seasons and requirements, deer hunting on wildlife management areas, state park deer hunts, waterfowl season and limits, hunting and trapping seasons and limits for furbearers and small game, access to wildlife management areas for mobility-impaired individuals, and boat registration fees.  A motion was made and seconded that the proposed changes to the regulations be found to comply with the statutes.  The motion passed.


Next, Secretary Jim Bickford of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet addressed the committee.


The cabinet was presenting, for committee review, a new administrative regulation, 401 KAR 5:072 related to concentrated animal feeding operations.  He said it focused on poultry, hogs, beef cattle, and dairy cattle operations.  He further explained that the regulation regulates these concentrated livestock operations in order to protect the water resources of the state.


He said the regulation's control mechanisms include: establishing siting criteria, requiring permanent storage structures for poultry waste, and integrator liability.  He also said that existing operations that cannot meet the siting criteria, such as setbacks, will be grandfathered in.


Senator Joey Pendleton asked the Secretary to compare the state's approach to concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) to the federal strategy.  Secretary Bickford said the cabinet's position is that the state is being no more stringent than the federal approach, although he acknowledged there are others who disagree with the cabinet.


Representative Mike Cherry stated that the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee considered and rejected integrator liability during discussion of legislation in the last regular legislative session.  He urged the committee to reject integrator liability in the regulation.


Representative Roger Thomas asked for an explanation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) position on integrator liability.  Secretary Bickford said that EPA had been working with Maryland on an integrator liability mechanism and that EPA has instructed other states to use it.


Representative Gary Tapp asked for an explanation of the fees required for Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.  Mr. Bruce Scott of the cabinet said that a fee is required to be paid to the cabinet when an individual permit is written.  He said he expected that many CAFO permits can be issued as general permits which do not require a fee.  Finally, he pointed out that the fee mechanism has been established by statute.


In response to a question from Chairman Harris, Secretary Bickford attempted to contrast the environmental risk from CAFO's in North Carolina with the risk in Kentucky.  He spoke of conduits in Kentucky's topography that can carry waste directly to waterways and the runoff of waste into waterways resulting from applying waste to land.


Next, Mr. Hank Graddy was invited to speak to the committee.  Mr. Graddy spoke in favor of state regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations.  A copy of the documentation supporting his position is on file in the LRC library with the meeting materials.


Mr. Graddy introduced Mr. Charles Bates of McClean County.  Mr. Bates argued forcefully for tighter regulation of CAFO's.  He said that failing to control the nuisance elements of CAFO's, such as odors and flies, was unfair to those living nearby.  He asked for help from the state to protect his quality of life, and that of others like him.


Ms. Carol Welch of Hopkins County also spoke for greater control of CAFO's.  She said the setback requirement of the regulation was not sufficient to protect a CAFO's neighbors.  She also expressed concern over how cost of future environmental problems be paid.


Next, Mr. Tom Fitzgerald spoke for greater regulation of CAFO's.  He distributed information about Maryland's experience with CAFO's and Maryland's proposal to make poultry companies liable for the environmental mishaps of their contract farmers.  Mr. Fitzgerald also urged the committee to tour a CAFO operation.


Ms. Sue Ann Salmon from Madisonville said the nuisances of CAFO's, such as flies and mice, should be more tightly controlled.  She also said industrial-style farms should be taxed accordingly.


Ms. Rebeckah Freeman of the Kentucky Farm Bureau next addressed the committee.  Her prepared remarks are on file in the LRC library with the meeting materials.  The Farm Bureau opposes aspects of the state's program to regulate CAFO's.  In particular, she said the Farm Bureau opposes integrator liability.


Mr. Dennis Liptrap, a Nelson County hog farmer, opposed the state strategy to regulate CAFO's.  Mr. Bill Payne expressed concern over possible regulation of dairy farming in the same manner as CAFO's.


Mr. Joe Noeffler of Cumberland County expressed concern about the unregulated land application of manure and how the waste runoff can affect water supplies.


Representative Woody Allen moved that the regulation be found deficient.  The motion was seconded.  A roll call was requested.


Representative Fred Nesler spoke against the motion.  He said the regulation was necessary to help protect the quality of life of those living near CAFO's.


Representative Brent Yonts spoke against the motion.


Representatives Mike Cherry and Jim Gooch spoke for the motion.  Representative Gooch expressed his displeasure at the manner in which the cabinet brought the regulation before the committee.


The motion to find 401 KAR 5:072 deficient passed.


The meeting adjourned at approximately noon.