An Idaho senate committee has unanimously approved a bill that would move responsibility for overseeing poultry and swine operations from the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, according to The Times News of Twin Falls, Idaho.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Tim Corder, who also chairs the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee. It would group operations into permitting and regulatory categories by their size. For poultry, requirements would also vary depending on the type of bird and the type of manure-handling system the operation has in place. For example, certain permit requirements for liquid manure handling would kick in at a flock size of 9,000 laying hens, while similar requirements wouldn’t kick in for solid manure handling until a flock reaches 25,000, The Times News reported.


“As we go forward in these times, we find more and more groups that are critical of the state’s management of water quality and air quality, and we want to provide some assurances that we’re serious about that as a state and not only that, but the industry’s serious,” Corder said.

The bill now goes to the full senate for consideration.