(1) Odors or fugitive dust caused by agricultural activity consistent with good agricultural practices on agricultural land are exempt from the requirements of this chapter unless they have a substantial adverse effect on public health. In determining whether agricultural activity is consistent with good agricultural practices, the department of ecology or board of any authority shall consult with a recognized third-party expert in the activity prior to issuing any notice of violation.
(2) Any notice of violation issued under this chapter pertaining to odors or fugitive dust caused by agricultural activity shall include a statement as to why the activity is inconsistent with good agricultural practices, or a statement that the odors or fugitive dust have substantial adverse effect on public health.
(3) In any appeal to the pollution control hearings board or any judicial appeal, the agency issuing a final order pertaining to odors or fugitive dust caused by agricultural activity shall prove the activity is inconsistent with good agricultural practices or that the odors or fugitive dust have a substantial adverse impact on public health.
(4) If a person engaged in agricultural activity on a contiguous piece of agricultural land sells or has sold a portion of that land for residential purposes, the exemption of this section shall not apply.
(5) As used in this section:
(a) "Agricultural activity" means the growing, raising, or production of horticultural or viticultural crops, berries, poultry, livestock, shellfish, grain, mint, hay, and dairy products.
(b) "Good agricultural practices" means economically feasible practices which are customary among or appropriate to farms and ranches of a similar nature in the local area.
(c) "Agricultural land" means at least five acres of land devoted primarily to the commercial production of livestock, agricultural commodities, or cultured aquatic products.
(d) "Fugitive dust" means a particulate emission made airborne by human activity, forces of wind, or both, and which do not pass through a stack, chimney, vent, or other functionally equivalent opening.
(6) The exemption for fugitive dust provided in subsection (1) of this section does not apply to facilities subject to RCW 70.94.151
as specified in WAC 173-400-100 as of July 24, 2005, 70.94.152
, or 70.94.161
Legislative finding, intent—1981 c 297:
"The legislature finds that agricultural land is essential to providing citizens with food and fiber and to insuring aesthetic values through the preservation of open spaces in our state. The legislature further finds that government regulations can cause agricultural land to be converted to nonagricultural uses. The legislature intends that agricultural activity consistent with good practices be protected from government over-regulation." [ 1981 c 297 § 29.
The above legislative finding and intent section apparently applies to sections 30 and 31 of chapter 297, Laws of 1981, which sections have been codified pursuant to legislative direction as RCW 70.94.640
Severability—1981 c 297:
See note following RCW 15.36.201