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EPA Releases Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15; Announces CAFO Study

February 1, 2023

A new EPA plan to study and develop PFAS pollution limits and other measures is underway, NMPF was notified on Jan. 20, before the agency released its multifaceted Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15.

The plan lays out how the agency will develop technology-based pollution limits and conduct studies on wastewater discharges from industrial and other sources. Specifically, the plan focuses on evaluating nutrient and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) discharges.

The plan includes conducting a new study on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), examining the extent to which CAFOs discharges from production and land application areas reach waterways that fall under the Waters of the U.S. rule. The study will take years to complete; in addition to it EPA wants to gather information on new technologies and practices aimed to reduce discharges coming from the production and land application areas.

EPA will also look at the economic vitality of the regulated community as any future changes must be economically feasible. This information will then be used to determine if a revision to the effluent and pretreatment standards is warranted.

NMPF will work with EPA and monitor this issue closely.