The applicant for a Confined Feeding Operation Permit and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management are required to do certain things to inform and involve the public. The Public Notification, Comment Periods, and Appeals section of IDEM’s Guidance Manual for Indiana’s Confined Feeding Program (see Laws and Rules) describes the requirements for notifying the public that an application has been submitted. It describes how public comments can be submitted during the application review and how the public is informed of the final decision. It also explains how the final decision may be appealed.
The public comment periods and notifications for all sized farms under the Confined Feeding Operation Rule, 327 Indiana Administrative Code 19 [PDF], and Confined Feeding Control Law, Indiana Code 13-18-10-2, require notification to property owners within a one-half mile radius of the proposed farm location and notification to county officials. Notification to newspapers is not required for Confined Feeding Operation Permits. Confined feeding operations applying for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System individual coverage under 327 Indiana Administrative Code 15-16 [PDF] will be required to do additional public notice in a newspaper for permit applications, modification requests, and changes to nutrient management plans, etc.
IDEM will accept written public comments for 33 days following the date of the applicant mailing to the notified parties. During this period, any interested parties may submit written comments on the permit application. IDEM evaluates comments as they relate to the application’s compliance with all applicable requirements. IDEM approves or denies the application based on fulfillment of the rule requirements. While environmental concerns may have an effect on an application, IDEM may not consider traffic, property values, or local zoning when considering an application.