2009 Nutrient Management
Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management
Part 12 - Contingency Planning
Table of Contents
- More Nutrients than the Nutrient Management Strategy,
Nutrient Management Plan or NASM Plan Have Addressed
- More Nutrients than the Storage Design Capacity
- Agricultural Operations: Unanticipated Release
- Weather or Equipment Conditions Impeding Planned
Storage or Application
- Managing Off-Farm Source Material
- Managing the VFSS
A contingency plan is a written document that sets out actions
to be taken in the event that a NMS, NMP or NASM plan cannot be
followed. For example, the storage facility planned for in a NMS
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 NMSs, NMPs or NASM
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, AD output
or NASM 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 (which can be contacted for drainage
information and for assistance in spill response);
- people renting or willing to lend equipment who are close at
- equipment such as loader tractors and emergency storage trailers.
After a situation has required that a contingency plan be put into
effect, the plan should be evaluated to determine if improvements
are needed and, if so, changes must be made accordingly.
When the implementation of a contingency plan causes you to change
any aspect of your NMS, NMP or NASM plan, it is important to assess
the significance of the change and determine whether or not an updating
of the NMS, NMP or NASM plan is necessary.
12.2 More Nutrients than the Nutrient Management
Strategy, Nutrient Management Plan or NASM Plan Have Addressed
If the application rates for nutrients in a NMP or NASM plan are
not at the maximum, the NMP or NASM 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 NMP or NASM plan must be recorded to reflect the actual amount
of nutrient applied. In some cases this may mean an updating of
the NMP or NASM plan is necessary.
If the application rates for nutrients in a NMP or NASM 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 such
- acquiring more land through ownership, control or other arrangements.
In addition, operators may consider other disposal methods such
as landfilling, composting, incineration or other processing methods.
12.3 More Nutrients than the Storage Design Capacity
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 NMP if the application rates are not already at the
maximum and update the plan as required by the Regulation,
- transferring the nutrients 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), and
- acquiring access to more land through ownership or control or
by means of a rental or other agreement.
In the case of NASM, generators will have to make alternate arrangements
for the management of the NASM.
Operators may consider other disposal methods such as landfilling,
composting, incineration or other processing methods.
12.4 Agricultural Operations: Unanticipated Release
of Nutrients (for example spills, breaks in equipment or storage)
There are important issues to be dealt with in a contingency plan
due to the adverse effects that can result from a spill. 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
12.4.1 To Avoid A Spill:
Spread the nutrient according to your NMP or NASM plan or put it
in an adequate nutrient storage for later application. In addition:
- Calibrate your nutrient application equipment regularly so that
you can follow the rate specified in your NMP or NASM plan;
- Follow setbacks to surface water required by the NMP or NASM
plan for the site;
- Mark all tile outlets and tile inlets 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 or NASM plan for the appropriate tillage practices;
- Avoid spreading before rain events.
12.4.2 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; and
- Then contact the 24 hour Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.
12.4.3 To Contain the Spill:
- Minimize opportunity for nutrients 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; and
- 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);
- bulldozer or backhoe operator;
- municipality; and
12.5 Weather or Equipment Conditions Impeding
Planned Storage or Application
12.5.1 Timing Change
When the timing of a nutrient 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 NMP or NASM plan.
12.5.2 Crop Change
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 crop change.
12.5.3 Commercial Fertilizer Blend Change
Where the nutrient composition that is listed in the NMP or NASM
plan is altered, the altered formulation should be reflected in
the NMP or NASM plan. Subsequent nutrient applications should reflect
changes to the original NMP or NASM plan.
12.6 Managing Off-Farm Source Material
Where the farm has a regulated mixed AD facility present, there
may be off-farm materials stored on the property. The contingency
plan must have some plan for dealing with any material that may
not be able to be used in the AD facility for any reason. The operator
may consider other disposal methods such as landfilling, composting
or other processing methods that may be permitted.
12.7 Managing the VFSS
Where the farm unit has made use of a VFSS to deal with the runoff,
the contingency plan must consider and outline options for how to
safely dispose of the runoff if the VFSS fails to function effectively.
The contingency plan must demonstrate how the runoff can be managed
until the VFSS is once again functioning properly.