More options for CAFOs


WASHINGTON — 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 has been published and is open for public comment until April 7.

Under current law, if concentrated animal feeding operations do not discharge pollutants to waters of the United States, they do not need a Clean Water Act permit. This proposal would, for the first time, allow these operations to certify that they do not discharge.

Three approaches

The agency is also proposing three different approaches for nutrient management plans that could be used by permitting authorities and operations to determine application rates of manure, litter and wastewater to be incorporated into the permit.

An nutrient management plan specifies the amount of manure that can be applied to crops so nutrient runoff to water bodies is minimized.

In response to a February 2005, federal court decision vacating some portions of a 2003 concentrated animal feeding operations rule, the agency proposed a revised rule in June 2006.

This proposed rule supplements the 2006, proposal by adding additional options.


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