In light of a settlement agreement with several environmental organizations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a reporting rule seeking to have Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) submit certain operational information regarding their farm. According to EPA, this information is necessary so it “can more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality and human health.”
As proposed, EPA would ask for basic operational data, such as contact information, location of production area, number and type of animals confined, number of acres available for land application of manure, and permit status. In this rule, EPA is considering two reporting options: 1) require every CAFO to report information to EPA unless states with authorized Clean Water Act permitting programs choose to provide it on behalf of the CAFOs in their state; or 2) require CAFOs in “focus” watersheds that have water quality concerns associated with CAFOs to report information to EPA. NMPF, along with other livestock organizations, is developing comments on this critical proposed rule. The deadline to submit comments is December 20, 2011.