2004 Nutrient Management
Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management
Part 11 - Contingency Planning
Table of Contents
- More Nutrient than the Nutrient Management Strategy
or Nutrient Management Plan have Addressed
- More Nutrient than the Storage Design Capacity
- Agricultural Operations: Unanticipated Release
of Nutrients (for example spills, breaks in equipment or storage)
- Weather or Equipment Conditions Impeding Planned
Storage or Application
A contingency plan is a written document that sets
out actions to be taken in the event that a nutrient management
strategy or nutrient management plan cannot be followed. For example,
the storage facility planned for in a nutrient management strategy
may become filled with rainwater before the manure inside it is
applied. Another example is a "spill" or unanticipated
release of nutrients. Preparing contingency plans in advance facilitates
the implementation of corrective action on short notice.
Contingency plans are a required component of nutrient
management strategies and nutrient management plans and must be
tailored to the particular conditions of each operation. The contingency
plan should be reviewed by all relevant parties, including the owners
of the land where manure or biosolids will be applied. Key people
in every operation should be familiar with the contingency plan
and know how to implement it.
Contingency plans should list in detail the contacts,
equipment and other resources that are available should a contingency
event occur, such as:
- the owner/operator (who can authorize expenditures),
- the number for the Spills Action Centre: (1-800-268-6060),
- the local municipality (who can be contacted for drainage
information and for assistance in spill response)
- people renting or willing to lend equipment who are close
at hand, and
- equipment such as: loader tractors, emergency storage trailers,
When a situation has required that a contingency plan
be put into effect, the plan should be evaluated to determine if
improvements are needed and changes made accordingly.
When the implementation of a contingency plan causes you to change
any aspect of your nutrient management strategy or nutrient management
plan, it is important to assess the significance of the change and
determine whether or not a renewal of the nutrient management strategy
or nutrient management plan is necessary.
11.2 More Nutrient than the Nutrient
Management Strategy or Nutrient Management Plan have Addressed
If the application rates for nutrients in a nutrient
management plan are not at the maximum, the nutrient management
plan can be reviewed to ascertain whether the application rate and
possibly the frequency of application can be increased for certain
parts of land. Any changes made to the nutrient management plan
must be recorded to reflect the actual amount of nutrient applied.
In some cases this may mean a renewal of the nutrient management
plan is necessary.
If the application rates for nutrients in a nutrient
management plan are at the maximum, the operator must be prepared
to set up alternate uses for the nutrient. Some possibilities include:
- finding a broker who can take the excess nutrient (a Broker
Agreement would be required in such circumstances),
- finding an intermediate generator who will accept the excess
nutrient (a Nutrient Transfer Agreement would be required in
- acquiring more land through ownership, control or an Application
In addition, operators may consider other disposal
methods such as landfilling, composting, incineration or other processing
11.3 More Nutrient than the Storage
In some cases, generally due to adverse weather conditions,
manure storages may be in danger of overtopping. The preferred solution
is to land-apply the manure where doing so will not result in an
adverse effect. Other options include:
- alter the nutrient management plan if the application rates
are not already at the maximum and renew if required by the
- transferring the nutrient to an available storage facility
with excess capacity (a Nutrient Transfer Agreement may be required)
- finding a broker who can take the excess (a Broker Agreement
would be required),
- finding an Intermediate Generator who will accept the excess
(a Nutrient Transfer Agreement would be required),
- acquiring access to more land through ownership or control
or by means of an Application Agreement, rental or other agreement.
Operators may consider other disposal methods such
as landfilling, composting, incineration or other processing methods.
11.4 Agricultural Operations: Unanticipated
Release of Nutrients (for example spills, breaks in equipment or
These are important issues to be dealt with in a contingency
plan due to the adverse effects that can occur. The contingency
plan must outline the required equipment, contacts and safety precautions.
The idea is to minimize the potential for a spill and if one does
occur to ensure that the operator and the employees know what actions
To Avoid A Spill:
Spread the nutrient according to your nutrient management
plan or put it in an adequate nutrient storage for later application.
Calibrate your manure application equipment
regularly so that you can follow the rate specified in your
Follow setbacks to surface water required by
the NMP for the site
Mark all tile outlets and catch basins for nutrient
application and inspection purposes.
For a direct flow system use two people with
a radio link or an automatic shutdown system.
Follow the NMP for the appropriate tillage practices.
Avoid spreading before rain events.
To Stop A Spill:
- Immediately stop the cause of the spill if possible,
- Shut down the appropriate pumps and valves,
- Ensure the system cannot be restarted,
- Then contact the 24 hour Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060
or your local Ontario Ministry of Environment office.
To Contain the Spill:
- Minimize opportunity for manure to enter tile drain or plug
the tile in the event flow appears to be contaminating the tile
- If the spill is moving over the ground surface, an earthen
berm should be built with farm or commercial equipment, such
as backhoes or dump trucks,
- Notify downstream users.
The following contacts should be posted by all phones
for immediate access in case of a spill:
- Spills Action Centre (1-800-268-6060)
- local Ontario Ministry of the Environment office
- bulldozer or backhoe operator
11.5 Weather or Equipment Conditions
Impeding Planned Storage or Application
When the timing of manure application must be changed,
adjust nutrient amounts to reflect the change in timing. In making
such adjustments, however, you must not exceed the maximum annual
nutrient application rate or the maximum rate per application and
must comply with the requirements of the Regulation.
Adjust subsequent applications of nutrients to accommodate
the change in timing of the nutrient application and record the
change in your nutrient management plan.
Nutrient amounts and formulation should be adjusted
(where possible) to account for a change in crop. If the nutrients
have already been applied, the amount and formulation should be
adjusted for the next crop where possible, to account for the previous
Commercial Fertilizer Blend Change
Where the nutrient composition that is listed in the
nutrient management plan is altered, the altered formulation should
be reflected in the NMAN plan. Subsequent nutrient applications
should reflect changes to the original nutrient management plan.