baffled by the myriad of environmental regulations that
pertain to agricultural and horticultural operations, help
is only a mouse-click away.
EZregs, a new
website hosted by University
of Illinois (U of I) Extension, can help farm producers,
green industry professionals, land use planners and others
make sense of environmental regulations in Illinois.
website can be found at:
makes it easier to find and understand the
regulations that affect the day-to-day operations of farm
producers and other ag and horticultural professionals,"
said Ted Funk, U of I Extension specialist in agricultural
and biological engineering. Funk is one of the co-authors of
the website, along with Randy Fonner, Scott Bretthauer and
Bruce Paulsrud, all Extension specialists at the U of I.
has a database of 13 sets of regulations, including IEPA
Livestock Regulations (Parts 501, 506, 560, 570, & 580), the
Livestock Management Facility Act (Section 900), the
Illinois Construction Site Stormwater Permit, the Illinois
Pesticide Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Historic
Resources Preservation Act.
Currently, users of the website can access sections on four
different operation types--Livestock Production, Food Crop
Production, Ornamental Horticulture Production and Landscape
Maintenance. Within these sections, users will find
regulations on pesticides and worker safety.
choosing an operation type, users can scroll through a list
of frequently asked questions about that operation. Clicking
on any question will pull up all the different regulations
pertaining to that question.
example, all livestock producers deal with the issue of
waste management for their facility. If a producer clicks on
the question, "How do I know whether I need a waste
management plan for my facility under the LMFA?", sections
from the Livestock Management Facilities Act and Rules will
explain the purpose, scope and applicability of a waste
scope of a question will encompass more than one set of
regulations, said Funk. "For instance, if a producer wants
to build a lagoon, the question ‘What are the design
standards for a lagoon?’ will pull up not only IEPA
Livestock Regulations, but also applicable regulations from
the Illinois Construction Site Stormwater Permit, the
Historic Resources Preservation Act and the Endangered
the regulations are followed by an "interpretation block,"
said Funk. "In other words, we put the information in
layman's terms. Here's what this really means, and here's
how you are affected."
also a glossary section following many of the regulations,
with terms of interest that the users might want to refer
to, said Funk.
visitors to the website can create an
for different agricultural or horticultural operations.
Users may save the questions that apply to their operation,
and this information will be "remembered" each time the user
will be updated on a regular basis, said Funk, and future
plans include the addition of the Illinois Noxious Weed Law
and the Illinois Drainage Law to the regulations database.
this is one of those web sites that people are going to
bookmark as a favorite and return to often," Funk concluded.
"There are just too many details in the regulations for
anyone to commit to memory; and those are details that can
make or break an operation."
funding for this project was provided by the Illinois Pork
Producers Association (through the Pork Checkoff program)
and US EPA Region 5.