The National Pork Producers Council yesterday filed comments on the federal Clean Water Act rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency that would regulate concentrated animal feeding operations. 

Under the revised rule, only CAFOs that discharge must obtain National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits and submit nutrient management plans. NPPC cites research in its comments that shows less than 1 percent of swine CAFOs discharge in any year, so EPA’s decision to not require permits of CAFOs that do not discharge is justified.

NPPC does have other concerns with the proposed rule, including: 

* The definition of the term “propose to discharge”;

* Possible significant delays in CAFOs obtaining NPDES permits or getting approval for changes to their NMPs because of lengthy EPA reviews and public participation requirements.

* The July 31, 2007, permit deadline for covered CAFOs, saying it provides too little time for states to amend their permit regulations. NPPC asked that EPA give states a year to conform their programs to the final CAFO rule and a year after that for CAFOs to submit permit applications and NMPs.

You can NPPC’s comments on the revised CAFO rule at