The Agricultural Compliance Program (ACP) of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) was developed to investigate and resolve complaints from the public concerning farms, farm operations, or agricultural composters that involve threats to human or animal health and safety, and to the environment. ACP regulations are found in CMR 01-001 Chapter 10 (DOC). Complaints investigated include, but are not limited to: flies/insects, improper carcass disposal, manure handling, odors, and water quality.
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An important aspect of the ACP is that it helps operators to develop or remain in compliance with best management practices (BMPs), which are the basis for a farmer's “Right-to-Farm” protection as established in the Maine Agriculture Protection Act. Essentially, this law specifies that these operations may not be considered a “nuisance” under law if the operation is in compliance with applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations, and conforms to BMPs. MRS 7 Chapter 6.
Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are those agricultural practices that are determined by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry to be a preferred method or practice based on best reasonably available and economically feasible methods and technologies that are technically and environmentally sound. They are practices that are best suited to preventing, reducing or correcting agriculture-related problems. If a determination is made that an agriculture-related problem exists, ACP staff or a qualified designee may recommend or develop BMPs to address the problem.
Complaints regarding improper manure handling will always be investigated as waters of the state must be protected. (See MRS 17 2701-B (PDF))
Cull Potato Disposal
MRS 7, § 1007-A (Word) outlines the need to have cull potatoes properly disposed to protect the potato industry.
Disposal rules including siting and operating standards for current technologies for disposing of animal carcasses and cites penalties for failure to comply with the rules. CMR 01-001 Chapter 211 (Word)
Nutrient Management Plans
ACP staff also routinely visit farms in need of updating their certified Nutrient Management Plans. ACP staff visit farms wishing to seek a variance for either the completion or updating of a certified Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) MRS 7, Chapter 747, § 4204, or farms requesting a winter spreading variance as set forth in MRS 7, Chapter 747, § 4207. Nutrient Management Rules (Word)