The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has eliminated the requirement that a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) owner or operator that “proposes to discharge” must apply for a permit, according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

The announcement was made Friday after EPA issued a final revised rule for its CAFO National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit regulation.

In addition, EPA has removed the voluntary non-discharge certification option for unpermitted CAFOs. The voluntary certification provision is unnecessary because the “propose to discharge” requirement is being removed.

This rule revision is in response to a 2011 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decision in National Pork Producers Council v. EPA, which vacated portions of the Agency’s 2008 CAFO rule.

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