Pa. deadline nearing for livestock farm permits

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – A second permit application deadline is approaching under the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection program for CAFOs.

Existing CAFOs with 301 to 1,000 animal equivalent units (AEUs) must apply for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit coverage by Feb. 28.

The first NPDES permit deadline for existing CAFOs with more than 1,000 animal units was May 18.

In addition, CAFOs beginning or expanding operations after Nov. 8, 2000, must obtain NPDES permit coverage before beginning these operations.

Definitions. CAFOs are large animal agriculture operations with more than 1,000 animal units, Concentrated Animal Operations with more than 300 animal units and operations with direct discharges to surface waters.

CAOs are operations that fall under the Pennsylvania Nutrient Management Act for having more than two animal units per acre of suitable cropland. An animal units is equal to 1,000 pounds of live animal weight.

Currently, poultry operations that produce dry manure are exempt from CAFO permitting. However, these operations may apply for and obtain CAFO permit coverage.

Who must apply. The following CAFOs operating on or before Nov. 18, 2000, with 301 to 1,000 animal units must apply for permit coverage by Feb. 28, 2002:

* CAOs in special protection watersheds (watersheds that contain high or exceptional quality waters designated by DEP) must apply for an individual NPDES permit; and

* Existing CAOs must apply for general NPDES permit coverage.

Applications and information for CAFO individual permits and general CAFO permit coverage are available from water quality programs in each of the department’s regional offices or through the Web site (directLINK “CAFOs”).

For more information, contact Mohammad Farooq, 717-783-7577 or e-mail mfarooq@state.pa.us.

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