South Dakota Environmental Issues
General Permit for CAFOs Reissued
The General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) has been reissued and is now effective. The 429 livestock operations covered under the existing general permit now have one to four years to apply for and obtain coverage under the new reissued permit. DENR will send letters to all permitted operations with information about the process and deadlines for applying. For more about the reissued general permit, visit http://denr.sd.gov/des/fp/cafo.aspx.
Governor Announces $94.6 Million for Environmental Projects
Gov. Dennis Daugaard says the state Board of Water and Natural Resources approved $94.6 million for water and waste projects when the board met Thursday and Friday in Pierre. The $94,620,125 total includes $7,636,000 in grants and $86,984,125 in low-interest loans, with $2,015,000 in principal forgiveness. The grants and loans awarded by the board will be administered through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). For more details, visit http://denr.sd.gov/dfta/info/info.aspx.
Governor Comments on Corps Surplus Waters Rulemaking
Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently called the proposed Army Corps of Engineers surplus waters rulemaking “unacceptable to South Dakota.” The proposed rule expands federal storage right claims for the Missouri River reservoirs to include all water stored in the dams and rejects the state’s right to manage and allocate any natural flows. The Governor wrote, “South Dakota respectfully requests the US Army Corps of Engineers to reject the current proposed rule and end this federal take-over attempt of nearly all the Missouri River water in South Dakota.” The Governor’s comment letter can be read in its entirety at http://denr.sd.gov/gov_corpruleletter.pdf.
Governor Signs Buffer Strip Legislation
Vegetative buffer strips alongside streams and lakes improve water quality by slowing down and filtering out pollutants in runoff water. To incentivize buffer strips on agricultural land adjacent to water bodies, Governor Daugaard introduced SB 66. It easily cleared both houses of the South Dakota Legislature and the Governor signed it on March 8. During last year’s legislative session, a similar bill was vetoed by the Governor due to concerns regarding the constitutionality of the tax incentive. The Governor’s bill this year overcame those concerns by creating a separate land class for buffers and also provides incentives for wider buffer strips - up to 150 feet wide. For more on the bill, visit http://www.sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Bill=66&Session=2017.
Governors Signs Water and Environment Funding Bill
The annual Governor's Water and Environment Funding Bill (SB 70), also known as the Omnibus Water Funding Bill, has cleared both houses of the South Dakota Legislature and has been signed by the Governor. Key sections of the bill appropriate $13.2 million from the Water and Environment Fund to provide financial assistance for drinking water, wastewater and waste management projects that protect human health and the environment while keeping infrastructure services affordable. Two of the largest sources of dedicated funds to the Water and Environment Fund are revenues from On-line Lottery and the Petroleum Tank Inspection Fee. For more on the bill, visit http://www.sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Bill=70&Session=2017.