EPA Offers Options for CAFOs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing additional options to a 2006 proposal for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) under the Clean Water Act. This supplemental proposal will close April 7.

Under current law, if CAFOs do not discharge pollutants to waters of the United States, they do not need a Clean Water Act permit. The new proposal would, for the first time, allow CAFOs to certify that they do not discharge. EPA is also proposing three different approaches for nutrient management plans that could be used by permitting authorities and CAFOs to determine application rates of manure, litter, and wastewater to be incorporated into the permit. A nutrient management plan specifies the amount of manure that can be applied to crops so nutrient runoff to waterbodies is minimized.

In response to a February 2005 federal court decision vacating some portions of a 2003 CAFO rule, EPA proposed a revised rule in June 2006. This proposed rule supplements the 2006 proposal by adding additional options.

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/npdes/afo/revisedrule.

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