LEGISLATORS CUT CAFO MONEY IN GENERAL FUND
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Cuts in Alabama's General Fund budget could force farmers with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) to pay registration fees for the first time. The fees charged by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) are designed to cover the cost for inspection and compliance requirements of CAFOs.
CAFO regulations in Alabama were enacted in 1999, and government officials pledged support to ADEM to help defer the increased cost by the agency for supervising the new regulations.
However, in the proposed state General Fund budget which has passed the House and is being considered by the Senate, funding for CAFO was reduced from $350,000 to $87,500.
Federation Environmental Affairs Director Steve Guy said farmers had to pay the cost from implementing the CAFO regulations, now they will bear most of the cost for government inspection of these new regulations.
Guy said depending on the size of the CAFO, farmers will pay from $150 to $900 for an annual permit. "Based on the current political climate, we're not optimistic about having the funding restored," Guy said. "Regrettably, farmers will have to bear the cost."