Thursday, May 27, 2010

CAFO Permit Requirement - EPA Settlement Agreement

On May 25, 2010, environmental groups and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a settlement agreement resolving their challenges filed in federal court to the 2008 Final Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Rule.

The settlement agreement requires EPA to issue a guidance document, no later than May 25, 2011, that specifies the kinds of operations and factual circumstances that EPA anticipates may trigger the duty for CAFOs to apply for NPDES permits. This guidance would be used to review and/or inspect existing unpermitted livestock facilities and determine whether they require a NPDES permit.

The settlement agreement also requires EPA to propose a rule to require all owners or operators of CAFOs to submit information to EPA, regardless of whether they discharge or propose to discharge. EPA is required to propose such a rule, receive public comment and take final action on the proposed rule by May 25, 2012.

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