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Virginia Poultry Waste Management Requirements

The Virginia Pollution Abatement Regulation and General Permit for Poultry Waste Management (9VAC25-630-10 et. seq.) governs the management of poultry waste (also referred to as poultry litter) at confined poultry feeding operations and poultry waste utilized or stored by poultry waste end-users or poultry waste brokers.  It also establishes requirements for proper nutrient management, waste storage, and waste tracking and accounting of poultry waste.

The following information represents the major components of the regulation and the general permit requirements.  Additional requirements not listed below include: soil and waste sampling and the completion of training programs by both the grower and broker.

Further details can also be obtained at the livestock and poultry webpage, by the contacting the DEQ Regional Office or the State Animal Feeding Operations Program Coordinator

Permitting and Technical Requirements

Poultry Growers

A permit is required when confining at least 20,000 chickens or at least 11,000 turkeys.

Poultry Waste Brokers

A poultry waste broker must register with the Department using the Virginia DEQ Poultry Waste Broker Registration Form prior to transferring poultry waste. To obtain this form contact the State Animal Feeding Operations Program Coordinator.

Must also comply with the requirements (also referred to as technical requirements) outlined in 9VAC25-630-60, 9VAC25-630-70, and 9VAC25-630-80.  Any poultry waste broker who does not comply with the technical requirements may be required to obtain coverage under the VPA general permit.

Poultry Waste End-Users

Must also comply with the requirements (also referred to as technical requirements) outlined in 9VAC25-630-60, 9VAC25-630-70, and 9VAC25-630-80.  Any poultry waste end-user who does not comply with the technical requirements outlined in 9VAC25-630-60, 9VAC25-630-70, and 9VAC25-630-80 may be required to obtain coverage under the VPA general permit.

Storage Requirements

All poultry waste shall be stored to prevent contact with surface water and ground water. 

Poultry waste that is stockpiled outside for more than 14 days shall be kept in a facility or at a site that provides adequate storage.  Adequate storage shall, at a minimum, include the following:

  • Poultry waste shall be covered to protect it from precipitation and wind;
  • Storm water shall not run onto or under the stored poultry waste;
  • Separated from seasonal high water table by two feet or one foot with an impermeable barrier; and
  • For poultry waste that is not stored under roof, the storage site must be at least 100 feet from any surface water, intermittent drainage, wells, sinkholes, rock outcrops, and springs.

Additional requirements must be met when constructing poultry waste storage facilities and poultry growing houses.  The appropriate Regional DEQ Office must be contacted prior to construction.

Land Application Requirements

Requirements related to land application rates, timing, and buffer zone restrictions are detailed in the permit and the technical requirements.  Permitted poultry growers are required to obtain and comply with a nutrient management plan.  Poultry Waste Brokers and Poultry Waste End-Users must comply with the requirements outlined in 9VAC25-630-80.

Recordkeeping Requirements

Poultry Waste Transfer Records

When transferring more than 10 tons in any 365-day period, Permitted Poultry Growers, Poultry Waste Brokers, and Poultry Waste End-Users must keep a record of poultry waste transactions. 

  • Grower name, address and permit number
  • Name and address of recipient (broker or end-user) & source (grower or broker)
  • Date(s) of waste transaction
  • Amount of waste transferred (tons)
  • Nutrient analysis of the transferred waste
  • The locality in which the recipient intends to utilize the waste (i.e., nearest town or city and zip code); and
  • The name of the stream or waterbody if known to the recipient that is nearest to the waste utilization or storage site.
  • The recipients signature on the poultry waste transfer records form acknowledging the receipt of the following:
    • The waste;
    • The nutrient analysis of the waste; and
    • A Poultry Litter Fact Sheet and End-User Poultry Litter Transfer Record

Poultry Waste Land Application Records

Under Permit Requirements (Permitted Poultry Growers)

When land applying poultry waste, the following items must be recorded:

  • The identification of the land application field sites where the waste is utilized or stored;
  • Application rate;
  • Application dates; and
  • What crops have been planted.
Under Technical Requirements (Poultry Waste Brokers and Poultry Waste End-Users)

When land applying poultry waste, the following items must be recorded:

  • The nutrient analysis of the waste;
  • Maps indicating the poultry waste land application fields and storage sites;
  • Land application rate; 
  • Land application dates;
  • What crops were planted;
  • Soil test results, if obtained;
  • NMP, if applicable; and
  • The method used to determine the land application rates (i.e., phosphorus crop removal, standard rate, soil test recommendations, or a nutrient management plan).

Also see the Poultry Litter Fact Sheet for more details.


Reporting Requirements (only required for Poultry Waste Brokers)

Copies of the Poultry Waste Transfer Records Form and Poultry Waste Broker Records Sources Form kept by poultry waste brokers are required to be submitted to DEQ by February 15th every year.

Copies of records kept by poultry growers are obtained by DEQ inspectors during inspections of the facilities.  Questions regarding poultry litter recordkeeping requirements or data requests should be directed to the State Animal Feeding Operations Program Coordinator Betsy Bowles.

Important terms to know:

Confined poultry feeding operation: means any confined animal feeding operation with 200 or more animal units of poultry. This equates to 20,000 chickens or 11,000 turkeys, regardless of animal age or sex.

Fact sheet or Poultry Litter Fact Sheet: means the document prepared by the department that summarizes the requirements set forth in this chapter regarding utilization, storage, and management of poultry waste by poultry waste end-users and poultry waste brokers.

Nutrient management plan or NMP: means a plan developed or approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) that requires proper storage, treatment, and management of poultry waste, including dry litter, and limits accumulation of excess nutrients in soils and leaching or discharge of nutrients into state waters; except for a poultry waste end-user or poultry waste broker who is not subject to the general permit, the requirements of 9VAC25-630-80 constitute the NMP.

Poultry grower or grower: means any person who owns or operates a confined poultry feeding operation.

Poultry waste: means dry poultry litter and composted dead poultry.

Poultry waste broker or broker: means a person who possesses or controls poultry waste that is not generated on an animal feeding operation under his operational control and who transfers or hauls poultry waste to other persons. If the entity is defined as a broker they cannot be defined as a hauler for the purposes of this regulation.

Poultry waste end-user or end-user: means any recipient of transferred poultry waste who stores or who utilizes the waste as fertilizer, fuel, feedstock, livestock feed, or other beneficial end use for an operation under his control.

Poultry waste hauler or hauler: means a person who provides transportation of transferred poultry waste from one entity to another, and is not otherwise involved in the transfer or transaction of the waste, nor responsible for determining the recipient of the waste. The responsibility of the record keeping and reporting remains with the entities to which the service was provided: grower, broker, and end-user.

Standard rate: means a land application rate for poultry waste approved by the board as specified in this regulation.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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