Concentrated-animal-feeding-operation (CAFO) regulations will prevent 56 million pounds of phosphorus, 110 million pounds of nitrogen, and 2 billion pounds of sediment from entering streams, lakes, and other waters annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA has finalized a rule requiring a nutrient-management plan for manure to be submitted as part of a CAFO’s Clean Water Act permit application. Previous rules required a CAFO operator to use a nutrient-management plan for controlling manure, but the new rule builds on that by requiring the nutrient-management plan to be submitted with the permit application.
The regulation also requires that an owner or operator of a CAFO that actually discharges to streams, lakes, and other waters must apply for a permit under the Clean Water Act. If a farmer designs, constructs, operates and maintains their facility such that a discharge will occur, a permit is needed. EPA is also providing an opportunity for CAFO operators who do not discharge or propose to discharge to show their commitment to pollution prevention by obtaining certification as zero-dischargers.
The rule deadline for newly defined facilities to apply for permits is Feb. 27. The proposed nutrient-management plan and permit will be available for public review and comment before going final.
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AgriTalk Radio host Mike Adams discussed the new rule last week with Ben Grumbles, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, and Michael Formica, environmental policy counsel for the National Pork Producers Council. Listen to the audio.