Draft Standards Available for Comment

NRCS Standards 360, 468, 578

Three Wisconsin NRCS practice standards were revised to include changes made in the corresponding national NRCS standards.  These three practice standards were open for public comment between January 8 and 23rd.

The comments were compiled and sent to NRCS on January 24, 2013.  NRCS State Office responses to the comments are listed below and in the link above.

Instructions to comment on standards:  Submit comments using the “Leave a Comment” link to the left or the comment section at the bottom of this page. If possible, submit all comments related to a single standard at one time.  Viewers with updated internet browsers should not have a limit on the amount of text that you enter.  Submit comments to additional standards in separate comment boxes. Keep comments specific and directly related to the standard. Indicate the standard and the section you are referring to when commenting, for example “327 Conservation Cover: V.B.4.a(1): Does this mean that…” Respond in the same order as the sections appear in the draft. If you have general comments applicable to the entire standard please note them as such.

Comments will receive responses from the NRCS.  At the end of your comment you may choose to receive an email update to any “replies” to your comment, which would include a response from NRCS.

If you have questions regarding the revised draft standards, contact John Ramsden at john.ramsden@wi.usda.gov.  If you have questions about submitting comments, contact Gini Knight at gini@wlwca.org.

25 Responses to “Draft Standards Available for Comment”

  1. Peter M Wurzer January 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Under item V.B.1 of the 360 Standard the maximum excavation requirement is not clearly stated. Some people go beyond the 6-24 inch depth of soil beyond the liner and chase plumes of contaminated soils. If the intent is to stop at 24 inches to contain costs that should be stated.

    • Naomi Bernstein January 10, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      I agree that this needs to be corrected. Is it 6-24" beyond the liner or 6-24" beyond evidence of contaminated soil?

      • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:49 am #

        Response from NRCS State Office:

        The language has been revised to better convey the extent of soil removal.

  2. Matt Blohowiak January 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    All standards – is a list available of all items that were changed for each standard?

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      This information will be on file at the NRCS State Office and provided to the Area Engineering staffs for information and training purposes.

  3. Mary King January 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    I reviewed the 468 standard and have no comments to offer. Looks like we are changing to the rock chute D50 method.

  4. Mary King January 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    578 Stream crossing – the standard was easy to understand. I do not have any comments to add to the draft.

  5. Mary King January 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    360.V.D. Please define "depth interval". It is unclear to me how many soil samples would be needed here.
    360.VII. Add "Profile". This would show the expected existing bottom and known geometry of the facility. This then allows a good place to show the actual extent of excavation needed to remove contamination and then the final as-built showing that the site indeed does shed water.

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:
      360.V.D. Numerous comments were received that did not favor the inclusion of this section. It was decided not to include it in the standard at this time.

      360 VII. Cross sections were added to the list.

  6. Naomi Bernstein January 15, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    As a general note, I agree with the plan to change the name of the standard to Waste Facility Closure. It will place the Waste Storage Facility Standards together in the eFOTG tree menu.

    Under item I. the definition of Waste Facility Closure. “where agricultural waste has been handled, treated, and/or stored and is no longer used for the intended purpose”. Under this definition, if you change the type of animal stored in a barn with an earthen floor, one would need to test the soils under the floor prior to changing the animals housed in the barn because if you change the type of animals housed in the barn, that is not the original intended purpose of the barn. Manure that has been handled, treated, or stored could also include cropland that receives manure applications, and headland stacking sites.

    Under Item III. “Where structures that include agricultural waste storage, such as confined animal housing,” I disagree with this statement. This was discussed in the meetings for the revision of NRCS standard 313, in which state conservation engineer John Ramsden stated that “Barns are not waste storage facilities.” Confined animal housing is not agricultural waste storage.

    Under item V.A. Sludge (accumulated solids) removal, it would be incredibly difficult or not possible to maintain the integrity of the liner during sludge removal, especially in the case of a clay or membrane lined storage facilities.

    Under item V.D. “Dry Waste Storage”. There is no definition in place for Dry Waste Storage in standard 360 or 313. It is not possible to have a standard for closing storage where there is no definition on what the storage is or a standard for how to construct "Dry Waste Storage". If confined animal housing, feedlots, livestock yards, or composting facilities with earthen floors are all considered dry waste storage, headland stacking should be considered dry waste storage as well. What research or standard is the addition of Dry Waste Storage based on? Additionally, no criteria is listed for what would require soil removal to occur. Confined animal housing, feedlots, and livestock yards are not waste storage facilities. This section of the standard is too open to interpretation. It should be removed. If this section cannot be removed from the standard, Dry Waste Storage needs to be clearly defined and should only include storage facilities for solid manure, not confined animal housing, feedlots, or livestock yards.

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:

      Item I: The definition is established by the National standard and can’t be changed by the states. Changing the type of animal does not constitute a change in purpose. Manure will still be present in the facility.
      The definition does include cropland. However, the standard will be clarified that is applies to wastes stored at the animal production site.

      Item III: Numerous comments were received that did not favor the inclusion of livestock production sites and feed storages. It was decided to not include these in the standard at this time.

      Item V.A. Agreed. The section has been revised to include, “to the extent possible to minimize the volume of contaminated soil removal.

      Item V.D. Numerous comments were received that did not favor the inclusion of this criterion. It was decided not to include it in the standard at this time.

  7. Gretchen Wheat January 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    360 Waste Facility Closure:

    Entire Standard: I think the draft Wisconsin standard is an overall improvement as compared to the current Wisconsin standard.

    III., 1st Paragraph: I support the following changes that were made to Wisconsin 360:

    “Livestock production sites” was added to Conditions Where Practice Applies.
    Examples of facility types that were added (“liquid/dry waste storage facilities, confined animal housing, feedlots, livestock yards or composting facilities”).

    I suggest the addition of “feed storage areas”. If feed storage areas can’t be added (because feed is not “waste”) then at least add “waste feed storage areas”.

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:

      Numerous comments were received that did not favor the inclusion of livestock production sites and feed storages. It was decided to not include these in the standard at this time. Sites that may require closure due to state or local requirements will have construction plans approved by the NRCS State Conservation Engineer.

  8. Gretchen Wheat January 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    III., 5th Paragraph: The following terminology doesn’t seem accurate: “materials that require the issuance of a hazardous waste permit”. Advice from DATCP could be sought regarding language for pesticides. Advice from DSPS and DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program could be sought regarding language for fuel. In lieu of that, here’s suggested language:

    “It does not apply to sites contaminated by materials that are considered hazardous wastes or that are subject to specific clean up criteria in state or federal law, such as fuel or pesticide.”

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:

      Thank you. The suggested wording will be incorporated in the standard.

  9. Gretchen Wheat January 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    V.A., 3rd Paragraph: I support exempt solid wastes as fill. Better to locate in “Excavated Impoundments” (V.B.2.) similar to current standard. Suggested language below also addresses voids/settling, topsoil thickness, and admin. rule cite.

    “2. Excavated Impoundments may be backfilled and compacted in accordance with Wisconsin Construction Specification 3 Earthfill, so that these areas may be reclaimed for other uses. Fill may include solid waste materials exempt for use pursuant to Section NR 500.08, Wisconsin Administrative Code, including used brick, building stone, concrete, reinforced concrete, broken pavement, and unpainted and untreated wood. If these materials are used, they shall be covered with at least 3 feet of clean mineral soil, with the most impermeable cover soil placed in the top one foot. If the area will have a soil surface, it shall also be covered with at least 3 inches of topsoil and be vegetated. If large size material or wood is used as fill, consideration shall be given to filling methods and additional thickness of clean mineral soil cover, to prevent and accommodate excess settling. It may be necessary to limit the quantity of wood, because it degrades. [start new par.] Concrete and flexible…”

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:

      The suggested wording will be incorporated in the standard with the exception of the wood degradation. That will be included in the “Considerations” section. This criterion should remain within the “General Criteria” since it may be used in other closures than just excavated impoundments.

  10. Gretchen Wheat January 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    V.A., 6th Paragraph (Erosion and Pollution Control): Keep construction site erosion control language here (as in current standard), rather than moving it to Considerations.

    V.B.1. (Embankment Impoundments), 1st Par.: Description of “embankment impoundment” is confusing. Does it mean this:

    “1. Embankment Impoundments (those with a floor 3 feet or more above the natural ground or existing surrounding grade) may be breached so that they no longer impound waste.” [end of changes]

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:

      The criteria for erosion and pollution from the current standard will be added to the revised standard as suggested in the comment.
      The waste depth at design level would be 3 feet above the existing ground. The floor would be below ground in most cases.

  11. Gretchen Wheat January 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    V.B.1. (Embankment Impoundments), 2nd Par.: Require removal of soil liner, and soil sample analysis to confirm sufficient soil removal – I’ve gotten this request from the public in the past. Suggested language:

    “Concrete and flexible membrane liners shall be removed and properly disposed of or rendered unable to impound water. Soil liners shall be removed. Soil borings shall be made below the liner to check for soil mixed with waste. If soil mixed with waste is present, concrete and flexible membrane liners must be pulled back to allow for the removal of contaminated soil. An additional 6 to 24 inches of soil (below the liner) shall be removed from the sides and bottom of the facility. The amount of soil to be removed may be estimated by the color and consistency indicating permeation or saturation with waste. Clean up shall be confirmed at the final grades reached by laboratory testing for N, P, K, chloride and pH of one soil sample per acre, with a minimum of 3 samples per facility being closed.

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:

      The intent of the criteria is to remove the obvious waste material contained in the soil. It is recognized that residual chemicals may remain. I am not aware of established standards for levels of various residual elements that remain in a “clean” soil. The filling and grading of the impoundment changes the “hydraulic driving forces” of the wastes previously stored to water in the soil profile from rainfall.

  12. Gretchen Wheat January 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    More comments on Stnd 360:

    V.B.1. (Embankment Impoundments), 3rd Par.: Is there a need to mention placement of topsoil?

    V.B.2. (Excavated Impoundments): Last sentence says, “Incorporate available topsoil were feasible to aid establishment of vegetation.” This seems to contradict re-vegetation language in the General Criteria, under Erosion and Pollution Control.

    V.B.3. (Impoundments converted to fresh water storage): When would it be impractical to remove sludge from a waste impoundment that will be converted to fresh water storage? Is this directed at storage of irrigation water?

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:

      V.B.1. No, the section on erosion and pollution contains the criteria that the site be re-vegetated.
      V.B.2. Agreed. This has been removed. The section on erosion and pollution that contains the criteria for the site to be re-vegetated will suffice.
      V.B.3. An instance does not come to mind. This wording was included in the National standard. This criteron would apply to any fresh water use.

  13. Gretchen Wheat January 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    V.D.: I support inclusion of “animal housing, feedlots” etc. with earth floors, & lab testing. Term “dry waste facilities” can be deleted. “Earthen” isn’t defined, but I read to mean “soil”, including clay. 2nd par. confusing. Specify nutrients. Add chloride & pH. Consolidate samples during collection. Suggested language for 1st & 2nd pars.:

    “Soil sampling and laboratory analysis is required at facilities such as confined animal housing, feedlots, livestock yards, or composting facilities with earthen floors or soil liners, to determine depth of removal or rehabilitation needed. Soil must be sampled from multiple locations and depths for N, P, K, chloride and pH. One sample per depth interval per acre shall be taken, with at least 3 sample locations per depth interval. Samples from the same depth interval at different locations may be collected in a single sample container for analysis (e.g. 3 similarly sized samples from the 0 to 6 inch depth interval, from different horizontal locations). If the depth interval exceeds 6 inches, the sample shall be taken from the bottom. The samples shall be collected, prepared…” [no further changes]

    • socwisconsin March 18, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Response from NRCS State Office:
      Numerous comments were received that did not favor the inclusion of livestock production sites and feed storages. It was decided to not include these in the standard at this time.