STATE OFFICIALS TO REVIEW NEW CAFO RULES
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, earlier this week announced a final rule that will require all large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to obtain permits to comply with the Clean Water Act.
The rule is being criticized by some livestock producers as extremely expensive.
Officials with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Alabama Farmers Federation are reviewing the regulations, but noted that Alabama's CAFO rules already allow for zero discharge into waterways.
The announcement by EPA finalizes a rule that will replace 25-year old technology requirements and permitting regulations that did not address today's environmental needs and did not keep pace with growth in the industry, said EPA and USDA.
About 15,500 livestock operations across the U.S. are affected by the new rule. Under the new rule all large CAFOs will be required to apply for a permit, submit an annual report, and develop and follow a plan for handling manure and wastewater. Currently about 4,500 operations nationwide are covered by permits. Because of the new rule, EPA expects up to 11,000 additional facilities will be required to apply for permits by 2006.
It will "add significant compliance costs, new responsibilities, and additional public oversight and legal risks to pork production," said NPPC President Dave Roper, a pork producer from Kimberly, ID. "Although EPA and the Bush administration have worked hard to develop a rule that is affordable, achievable, sustainable and science-based in nature," he added, "the rule will present many challenges to pork producers over the next 15 to 20 years."
For more information visit: www.epa.gov/npdes/caforule.