Guidance Document for CAFOs

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a guidance document for CAFOs. The document, Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations – CAFOs that Discharge or are Proposing to Discharge, provides guidance for CAFO owners and operators and NPDES    permitting authorities for evaluating whether a CAFO discharges or proposes to discharge.

Owners and operators of CAFOs should use this document as a tool, because the EPA has been increasing their enforcement of cattle feeding operations. Three civil enforcement actions were announced in the span of one week against Iowa feedlots.

EPA officials have been flying over facilities in North West Iowa, and are targeting medium sized CAFOs (300-999 head) for violations.  Flying over the facilities allows for them to have a better view of which facilities are out of compliance because of distinct run-off lines.  During a meeting of the Iowa Manure Management Action Group, Gene Tinker with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said the bottom line behind the EPA’s action is water quality.

The CAFO guidance document can be found at:  http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/afo/info.cfm.

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