Township of Lehigh, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lehigh 9-28-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-6. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 51.
Nuisances — See Ch. 103.
Zoning — See Ch. 180.

§ 50-1 Definitions.

Unless the context clearly indicates to the contrary, words used in the present tense include the future tense, and words used in the plural include the singular. For purposes of this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the following meanings unless otherwise indicated:
ANIMAL EQUIVALENT UNIT (AEU)
One thousand pounds live weight of livestock or poultry animals, regardless of the actual number of individuals comprising the unit, as defined in Section 3 of the Nutrient Management Act (3 P.S. § 1703)[1] which is incorporated into this chapter by reference.
ANIMAL WASTE
Any animal excrement, animal carcass, feed waste, animal water waste, or any other waste associated with animals.
ANIMAL WASTEWATER
Any animal excreta, any liquid which comes into contact with any manure, litter, bedding or other raw material or intermediate or final material or product used in or resulting from the production of animals or products directly or indirectly used in the operation of a CAFO, or any spillage or overflow from animal watering systems, or any liquid used in washing, cleaning or flushing pens, barns, or manure pits, or any liquid used in washing or spraying to clean animals, or any liquid used for dust control on the premises of a CAFO.
APPLICATION
The injection of animal waste or animal wastewater into the land.
CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATION
All land and/or a lot, facility, parcel, or operating location in which animals have been, are or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any twelve-month period and a ground cover of vegetation is not sustained over at least 50% of the animal confinement area. A concentrated animal feeding operation shall not include any land area, structure, lot, yard, or corral or other area which does not meet the numerical threshold for animals as set forth in the classification system in § 50-2 of this chapter. For purposes of this definition, the concentrated animal feeding operation means and refers collectively to an animal production facility which includes at least one feedlot, livestock lagoon, and a land application area. For purposes of this definition, "animal confinement area" includes the buildings or structures, including feedlots, in which animals are confined, but does not include contiguous land used as plant filter areas over which crops or other vegetation are raised independent from the animal feeding operations. A CAFO does not include a feeding operation that has a capacity of less than 499 AEUs.
CONSTRUCTION PERMIT
A construction permit/letter of approval required of a CAFO by Lehigh Township.
FEEDLOT
Any land area, structure, lot, yard, or corral or other area, whether enclosed with a roof or unenclosed, wherein livestock are confined in close quarters for the purpose of fattening, feeding, growing, raising, or birthing such livestock for final shipment to market or slaughter. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing definition, a lot or structure which contains 300 AEUs per acre for the foregoing purposes shall be considered a feedlot. A feedlot does not include unenclosed pasture areas which are used for the raising of crops or other vegetation upon which livestock are allowed to graze or feed.
LAND
Any plot, parcel, lot or other area of land owned or leased by the CAFO to qualify for the capacity of one acre per four AEU formula for wet handling, or one acre per eight AEU formula for dry handling.
LAND APPLICATION AREA
Land used or reserved for the application of liquid wastes from a building or outdoor storage facility.
LEASE
A written contract for the exclusive use of real property, which contract specifically grants unto the lessee the right to apply animal waste and animal wastewater to the leased premises.
LIVESTOCK
Cattle, sheep, swine, poultry and other animals or fowl, which are being produced primarily for use as food or food products for human consumption.
MANURE PIT
An enclosed area located below ground surface level and directly under a building which is a part of the CAFO, used to collect animal waste and animal wastewater. Before a manure pit becomes full, all or part of the animal waste and animal wastewater must be removed and used for application.
OCCUPIED DWELLING
A dwelling place for people which is inhabited at least 50% of the year or any church, school, business or other public building open to and used routinely by the public for public purposes.
OPERATION PERMIT
An operating permit and/or letter of approval required of a CAFO by Lehigh Township.
OWNER
Anyone who owns, either individually and/or with any other persons, any of the following interests in the real property upon which a CAFO is situated:
A. 
Fee simple title;
B. 
A leasehold interest;
C. 
Any interest in an entity which holds fee simple title;
D. 
Any interest in any entity which has a leasehold interest.
OWNER'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY
The owner's parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, brothers and/or sisters.
PERSON
Includes natural persons and also includes corporations, partnerships, associations and any other business or charitable entities, including a natural person who has supervisory authority over the operation of a CAFO, whether or not such person is an owner of the CAFO, and a natural person who applies animal waste or animal wastewater originating from the CAFO.
POPULATED AREA
A town, village or incorporated area having at least 10 occupied dwellings not on CAFO property, as measured in a straight line from any of the occupied dwellings to the nearest CAFO confinement building, confinement lot, or other confinement area, or waste handling facility in a five-mile radius.
SETBACK
The distance for the CAFO facility to the nearest occupied dwelling not on CAFO property, as measured in a straight line from the occupied dwelling to the nearest CAFO confinement building, confinement lot, other confinement area, or water handling facility.
SLOPE
The vertical drop divided by the horizontal distance of a land area multiplied by 100, and expressed as a percentage.
TOWNSHIP HEALTH PERMIT
Written authorization issued by the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors to construct, modify or operate a CAFO.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 503.

§ 50-2 Classification of concentrated animal feeding operations.

A. 
A Class I CAFO is one that has a capacity of 2,000 or more AEUs.
B. 
A Class II CAFO is one that has a capacity of 1,500 to less than 2,000 AEUs.
C. 
A Class III CAFO is one that has a capacity of 1,000 to less than 1,500 AEUs.
D. 
A Class IV CAFO is one that has a capacity of 500 to less than 1,000 AEUs.

§ 50-3 Rules applicable to all CAFOs.

Prior to issuance of a Lehigh Township health permit, the Township shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law as to the following:
A. 
The proposed CAFO shall be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, as applicable. Lehigh Township shall have the right to conduct annual inspections of the premises to ensure ongoing compliance with this chapter.
B. 
Airborne pathogens. The permittee shall provide adequate provisions for the control of airborne pathogen emissions. This includes, but is not limited to, installation of filters and UV light systems on all exhaust fan assemblies. In addition, all provisions for the control and treatment of airborne pathogens shall comply with the most recent recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and/or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
C. 
No Township health permit shall be issued for a livestock and/or poultry manure storage system or other system of manure storage that is of like and similar nature that prevents feedlot runoff unless such manure storage system is in compliance with all Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources ("DNR") regulations for the control of wastes from livestock feedlots, poultry lots and other animal lots and said manure storage system has obtained a permit from the DNR, if necessary, for the pollution control devices to be installed. Such manure storage systems shall be located at least 2,000 feet from an existing residence.

§ 50-4 Setback requirements.

No Class I CAFO shall be located within two miles of any Class I or Class II CAFO or within one mile of any Class III or Class IV CAFO. No Class II CAFO shall be located within two miles of any Class I CAFO, within 1 1/4 miles of any Class II CAFO or within one mile of any Class III or Class IV CAFO. No Class III CAFO will be located within one mile of any Class I or II CAFO or within 1/2 mile of any Class III or Class IV CAFO. No Class IV CAFO will be located within one mile of any Class I or II CAFO or within 1/2 mile of any Class III or Class IV CAFO. This distance shall be measured from the nearest point of one CAFO's confinement or waste containment system to the nearest point of another CAFO'S confinement or waste containment system.
Setback Distances
Class I
Class II
Class III
Class IV
Class I
2 miles
2 miles
1 mile
1 mile
Class II
2 miles
1.25 miles
1 mile
1 mile
Class III
1 mile
1 mile
0.5 mile
0.5 mile
Class IV
1 mile
1 mile
0.5 mile
0.5 mile

§ 50-5 Financial security.

A. 
No health permit shall be issued unless adequate security has been furnished to ensure proper cleanup and disposal.
B. 
A cash or surety bond shall be furnished to Lehigh Township for any manure storage system. A manure storage system may include one or more outdoor or indoor storage facilities at any single operation during CAFO. If the bond is a surety bond, the surety shall be approved by the Board of Supervisors and found to be of reputable character and financially sound with respect to the obligation incurred. A security bond shall be furnished before construction and shall remain in effect during the operation period. The bond shall remain with the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors until the operator has ceased operation of the CAFO and has complied with all federal, state and local laws in operation of the facility and until the prompt cleanup and proper disposal of any waste improperly handled or disposed of at the facility and restoration of the premises upon which the facility is operated. If a cash bond is posted, all interest earned thereon shall become part of the bond subject to terms and conditions, including the condition of release. The Board of Supervisors shall give approval before release of the bond.

§ 50-6 Relief from requirements.

Where, due to an extraordinary or exceptional situation or condition of a specific piece of property, the strict application of this chapter would result in peculiar and exceptional difficulties to, or an exceptional and demonstrable undue hardship upon, the owner of the property as an unreasonable deprivation of use as distinguished from the mere grant of a privilege, the Board of Supervisors may authorize, as part of the application for a Township health permit, relief from the strict application so as to relieve said demonstrable difficulties or hardships, provided the relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent, purpose, and integrity of the regulations, standards and criteria established in this chapter.

§ 50-7 Applicability.

A CAFO in existence at the time of the enactment of this chapter is exempt from its terms and conditions; provided, however, that before a CAFO in existence at the time of the enactment of this chapter may expand or change its operation in terms of a change of classification or amount or manner in which animal waste or animal wastewater is applied or disposed of, the CAFO shall be in compliance with this chapter in every respect and shall obtain a new Township health permit. If the real estate upon which a CAFO is exempt as stated above is transferred to a member of the owner's immediate family either by voluntary conveyance or as the result of the death of the owner, the exemption provided herein shall also transfer.

§ 50-8 Administrative fees.

A. 
No application for approval of a Township health permit shall be accepted until the applicant has paid all processing fees as set forth below. Fees paid shall be nonrefundable except as provided in § 50-8D below.
B. 
The original application fee amount shall not exceed the amount needed to recover the cost of initial and yearly inspections, investigation and review of the proposed application, which fee amounts are based upon the anticipated costs of review, inspection and investigation by Lehigh Township and which fee amounts have also taken into consideration the need for special investigative services, including geologic inspections, hydrologic inspections, groundwater monitoring, soils evaluation, and other unique costs of a scientific or technical nature associated with the processing of the application. For purposes of this chapter, the administrative fee amounts shall be as follows:
Classification of CAFO
Fee
Class I
$10,000
Class II
$2,000
Class III
$1,500
Class IV
$1,000
C. 
There shall be established with the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors an escrow fund, for each application for a Township health permit, for the purposes of reimbursing Lehigh Township for services rendered in connection with administration of this chapter. Said escrow account shall include the proceeds of project review fees established pursuant to this section. The funds contained in said escrow account shall be used solely to reimburse Lehigh Township for actual costs associated with administration of this chapter, for actual services rendered for investigation, administration and processing of a Township health permit, including costs associated with the retaining and compensation of experts on scientific and technical issues associated with the application and costs associated with public hearings. The Township Treasurer shall disburse payments based upon billings supplied by Lehigh Township and approved by the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors.
D. 
The applicant for a Township health permit may apply to Lehigh Township for a credit against the fee previously paid in the event that a portion of the cost of review and processing is duplicative, pursuant to the standards of applicable case law or statutes then in effect. After the approval, conditional approval or denial of a Township health permit, the Township Treasurer shall refund to the applicant any unexpended or unencumbered balance of the escrow account established pursuant to this section for said application.
E. 
The five-year renewal fee for all classes of CAFOs shall be $1,000 to be paid at the time the application for renewal permit is submitted, said fee to go directly into the General Revenue Fund of the Township.

§ 50-9 Disposal of dead animals and after-birthing material.

The proper disposal of dead animals and after-birthing material shall be completed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Domestic Animal Act which is hereby incorporated into this chapter by reference.

§ 50-10 Site evaluation.

The applicant shall obtain and provide to Lehigh Township a satisfactory site evaluation of any and all proposed CAFOs prepared by The Animal Science Department of Pennsylvania State University or such other equivalent qualified program approved by the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors.

§ 50-11 Conditions for issuance of permit.

The applicant shall meet all of the conditions as set forth in §§ 50-1 through 50-10 prior to Lehigh Township issuing either a construction and/or health permit under this chapter.

§ 50-12 Violations and penalties.

Any person violating this chapter shall be subject to punishment by imprisonment or fine as provided by law. Each day a person operates a CAFO in violation of this chapter, and each time a person applies animal waste or animal wastewater in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of this chapter, shall be considered a separate offense.

§ 50-13 Repeal of ordinances not to affect liabilities, etc.

Whenever any part of this chapter shall be repealed or modified, either expressly or by implication, by a subsequent ordinance, that part of the chapter thus repealed or modified shall continue in force until the subsequent ordinance repealing or modifying the chapter shall go into effect unless therein otherwise expressly provided; but no suit, prosecution, proceeding, right, fine or penalty instituted, created, given, secured or accrued under this chapter previous to its repeal shall be affected, released, or discharged but may be prosecuted, enjoined, and recovered as fully as if this chapter or provisions had continued in force, unless it shall be therein otherwise expressly provided.