Chapter 8. Anaerobic digestion output management
Section 8.1. Requirements for storage of anaerobic digestion output
AD materials cannot be treated in an RMADF unless the farm unit where the facility is located is able to store all of the AD output produced by the treatment during a period of 240 days.O. Reg. 267/03 includes some exceptions to this 240-day storage rule. This storage requirement is in addition to the storage capacity requirements for the farm unit that are set out in section 69 of O. Reg. 267/03.
(see s. 69, O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 8.2. Requirement for a Nutrient Management Plan for certain RMADFs
Some agricultural operations are already required to have a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) if they already have an NMS and the number of livestock on the farm is sufficient to generate greater than 300 nutrient units, or if any part of the farm unit used for the operation lies within 100 m of a municipal well. For operations that don’t already have an NMP, on the day that the RMADF receives more than 10,000 cubic metres of off-farm AD material in the preceding 12-month period or receives any Schedule 2B material the operation is required to have an NMP that satisfies the requirements of O. Reg. 267/03 and applicable Protocols.
(see s. 15 (4), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 8.3. Land application of anaerobic digestion output
There are land application requirements for ASM in O. Reg. 267/03. AD output is considered an ASM if it meets the following criteria:
- If the materials were treated in a mixed AD facility (that is, a facility that treats both on-farm AD materials and off-farm AD materials on a farm)
- If at least 50 per cent, by volume, of the materials were on-farm AD materials; and,
- The materials did not contain sewage biosolids or human body waste.
AD output is not considered an ASM if it meets the definition of restricted anaerobic digestion output, which is described in section 8.7 of this document.
(see s. 1. (1), "agricultural source material" or "ASM", O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 8.4. General land application requirements for AD output
There are a number of land application rules that apply to AD output that is ASM regardless of where it is applied. If AD output is ASM and is going to be land applied at any agricultural operation, even if the activity is being undertaken at a farm unit that generates 5 or fewer nutrient units annually, the following conditions apply:
- Meet every requirement in Part VI of O. Reg. 267/03 that governs land application of agricultural source materials, prescribed materials or nutrients
- Not apply this material to land within 150 m of the top of the bank of surface water if the maximum sustained slope of the land is 25 per cent or greater
- Not use a high trajectory irrigation gun capable of spraying liquid more than 10 m unless the output is an aqueous solution or suspension containing more than 99 per cent water by weight
- If direct flow land application systems are used, the requirements of section 52.7 in O. Reg. 267/03 for non-agricultural source materials will apply to AD output; and
- The AD output must not result from the treatment of AD materials that include materials listed in Schedule 3.
(see s. 98.11 (1), (2), 52.7, Part VI, O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 8.5. Land application of AD output from an RMADF that treats Schedule 2B materials
Treatment of Schedule 2B material may have a higher risk of having contaminants in the AD output. The AD output from an RMADF that treats Schedule 2B material must meet the following requirements:
- The total content of glass, metallic objects, plastic and other foreign objects must be less than or equal to 2 per cent, calculated on a dry weight basis
- The content of plastic must be less than or equal to 0.5 per cent, calculated on a dry weight basis
- The content of a regulated metal must not exceed the maximum concentrations set out in column 2 or 3, as applicable, of Table 2 of Schedule 5; and
- The content of E. coli must not exceed the maximum E. coli levels set out in column 2 of Table 3 of Schedule 6 if it is material containing less than 1 per cent total solids, wet weight, or column 3 of Table 3 of Schedule 6, if it is material containing 1 per cent or more total solids, wet weight (see below).
Table 2 of Schedule 5 — CM2 NASM
Concentration in aqueous material (containing less than 1% total solids, wet weight), expressed as mg per litre
Concentration in non-aqueous material (containing 1% or more total solids, wet weight), expressed as mg per kg of total solids, dry weight
Table 3 of Schedule 6 – CP2 NASM
Geometric mean of samples of aqueous material (containing less than 1% total solids, wet weight) taken during the 4 months before transfer date
Geometric mean of samples of non-aqueous material (containing 1% or more total solids, wet weight) taken during the 4 months before transfer date
|1.||E. coli||2 million CFU per 100 ml||2 million CFU per gram of total solids, dry weight|
In addition, the AD output from an RMADF that treats Schedule 2B must demonstrate benefit for the agricultural field by satisfying at least one of the following conditions:
- In the case of solid or liquid ASM, the amount of total organic matter as defined in Section 98.0.6(2) of O. Reg. 267/03 is more than 15 per cent calculated on a dry weight basis
- In the case of solid or liquid ASM it is used to increase the soil pH value
- In the case of solid ASM, the total concentration of plant available nitrogen, plant available phosphate and plant available potassium, determined in accordance with the Sampling and Analysis Protocol, is more than 13,000 milligrams per kilogram of the ASM, calculated on a dry weight basis
- In the case of liquid ASM, the total concentration of plant available nitrogen, plant available phosphate and plant available potassium is more than 140 milligrams per litre of the ASM; or,
- In the case of liquid ASM, the condition set out in item 4 above is not satisfied but the liquid ASM is an aqueous solution or suspension containing more than 99 per cent water by weight and is used to irrigate crops during the period that begins on June 15 and ends on September 30 of the same year.
When determining if the AD output meets the requirements above (in Sections 98.11 (3) and (4) of O. Reg. 267/03), it must be tested in accordance with the Sampling and Analysis Protocol, and every sample must be a composite sample.
(see s. 98.11 (3), (4), (5), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 8.6. Land application of clean out material
Clean-out material is AD output material that has been removed from an AD vessel due to floating or settling of the material and that has been recovered as part of maintenance of the anaerobic digestion vessel.
(see s. 98.12 (5), O. Reg. 267/03).
The following rules for clean out material apply for an RMADF that receives more than 10,000 cubic metres of off-farm AD materials in any 12-month period or receives any Schedule 2B material:
A person can apply clean out material to land on a farm unit if the clean out material comes from an RMADF that receives more than 10,000 cubic metres of off-farm AD materials in any 12-month period or receiving any Schedule 2B material where the clean-out material has not been removed from the anaerobic digestion vessel since the most recent receipt of this amount or type of material. This clean out material can only be land applied if it is sampled by composite sampling in accordance with the methodology in the Sampling and Analysis Protocol for glass, metallic objects, plastics and other foreign objects and meets the following standards:
- The content of the glass, metallic objects, plastic and other foreign objects in the most recent analysis for the clean-out material cannot exceed 2% on a dry weight basis;
- The content of plastics in the most recent analysis for the clean-out material cannot exceed 0.5% on a dry weight basis.
The person who owns or controls the agricultural operation where the RMADF operates must maintain the records of the results of this analysis and keep the records for 2 years past the date the record was created.
Clean out material that may not be applied to land under this section, or that is not intended for land application, must be removed from the farm unit.
(see s. 98.12.1 (1), (2), (3), (4), O. Reg. 267/03).
The requirements for land application of clean out material apply even if the activity is being undertaken at a farm unit that generates 5 or fewer nutrient units annually.
(see s. 6 (1), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 8.7. Land application of Restricted Anaerobic Digestion Output (RADO)
Restricted Anaerobic Digestion Output (RADO) is generated when the AD output or the RMADF treatment process has failed to meet certain regulatory requirements. RADO must be managed differently from AD output that is ASM. RADO results from an RMADF that receives, in the preceding 12-month period, more than 10,000 cubic metres of off-farm anaerobic digestion materials or any materials listed in Schedule 2B, where the AD output resulted from the treatment of any of the following:
- Off-farm anaerobic digestion materials received in contravention of paragraph 1, 1.1, 1.3, 1.4 or 1.6 of Section 98.4 (1) or section 98.5 (1).
- Anaerobic digestion materials that contain sewage biosolids or human body waste.
- Anaerobic digestion materials that do not meet the requirements of paragraph 3 of Section 98.8 (1), Section 98.8 (2), paragraphs 2 to 6 of Section 98.9 (1) or Section 98.9 (2), (2.1), (2.2), (3) or (4).
(see s. 1 (1.2), O. Reg.. 267/03).
RADO is generated when any of the above noted provisions is not complied with. For further clarity, the provisions above include the following scenarios:
- Treating off-farm AD material not included in Schedules 1, 2A or 2B, or not meeting the dry matter requirements for certain off-farm AD material
- Treating material in Schedule 2A or 2B containing particles of any material that will not pass through a screen whose largest opening has an area of 2.5 square centimetres, or failing to have the analysis to demonstrate this
- Treating materials in Schedule 1, 2A or 2B that have a plastic content that exceeds 0.5 per cent on a dry weight basis, or for failing to have the analysis to demonstrate this
- Treating materials that exceed the allowed metals concentrations or for failing to have the analysis to demonstrate this
- Treating materials that contains sewage biosolids or human body waste
- Treating materials in non-compliance of the percent and type of on-farm material or percent manure requirements
- Operating the RMADF in non-compliance of the retention time, temperature, or pre-treatment requirements
- Receiving material in Schedule 2B in a form that cannot flow through a hose; and,
- Receiving material in Schedule 2B that does not come from a pre-processing facility with the appropriate approvals (described in Section 4.6 in this document).
RADO is a Category 3 unlisted NASM rather than ASM. Information on the storage and land application of NASM and the requirements for an approved NASM Plan can be found on the Government of Ontario website.
Section 8.8. Land application requirements for AD output when not applying under a Nutrient Management Plan
There are additional requirements when land applying AD output on a farm that does not otherwise require a NMP from an RMADF that received more than 10,000 cubic metres of off-farm AD materials or any material listed in Schedule 2B in the preceding 12-month period. In this case, the following requirements must be met:
- During any consecutive five-year period, the application rate must be such that the total plant available phosphate, per hectare, (where the Nutrient Management Protocol calculates plant available phosphate as 0.4 X (total phosphorous X 2.29)) from all prescribed materials applied to land must not exceed the greater of :
- Crop production requirements per hectare for the five years plus 85 kilograms (kg) of phosphate per hectare; and
- The phosphate removed from the land per hectare in the harvested portion of the crop during the five-year period plus 390 kg of phosphate per hectare.
- During any 12-month period, the application rate occurs at such a rate that the total plant-available nitrogen from all prescribed materials applied to land must not exceed 200 kg of plant-available nitrogen per hectare.
Total plant-available nitrogen is the sum of:
(ammonia and ammonium nitrogen) + (nitrite and nitrate nitrogen) + (0.3) (organic nitrogen), where: organic nitrogen = total Kjeldahl nitrogen - (ammonia and ammonium nitrogen).
(see s. 98.11 (6), (7), (8), O. Reg. 267/03, and Nutrient Management Protocol).