by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
Thursday, June 20, JLF Senior Fellow and former Secretary for the N. C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Dr. Donald van der Vaart was featured on Southern Farm Network’s website commenting on the new regulations from the DEQ on livestock farmers. The regulations set by the DEQ impose a number of things. According to van der Vaart:
“There are additional reporting requirements for all farmers, and part of that record reporting requirement is to certify their annual reports. Certification is problematic is because, what it does is open you up to liability that they are not subject to now.”
“Second of all, for those farms that are in the 100-year floodplain… they have to sink monitoring wells and sample groundwater on their property.”
Dr. van der Vaart explains these farms, prior to these rules, did not have to monitor their own groundwater, but only water outside of their property. He explains:
For years, the DEQ policy was that we are only concerned about ground water outside of your farm or your property because that is essentially your business. But, if whatever you are doing encroaches upon the ground water and fluctuates to violate a standard off [your] property, obviously we are going to go after you.
He described this new standard as “very unusual and very expensive.” In addition, van der Vaart explained that DEQ did not follow the proper process to initiate this regulation. These failures include not producing a financial statement nor sending the new rules to the Environmental Management Commission for approval. The General Assembly is currently considering one-year moratorium for these regulations.
Listen to the full story here.