Office of Wastewater Management

                    Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
                             and Their Effect on Water Pollution
What are CAFOs ?

Basically, CAFOs are animal feeding operations (AFOs)   nearby waters that originate outside of or pass over,
that confine or house livestock or poultry prior to the   across, or though the facility, or otherwise come into
animals being sent to market for sale, or to processing   direct contact with the animals confined there, then
plants for slaughter and packaging for consumption,   these facilities are also considered to be CAFOs.
CAFOs can range in size of operation from less than
100 individual animals to several thousand, depending   In addition to the above criteria, any AFO may be
on species and type. The designation of an AFO to   designated as a CAFO based on water quality concerns.
that of a CAFO is dependent on the number of animal   Factors used in making this determination include the
units (AUs), the length of time the animals are   size of the operation, the amount of waste entering
maintained at the facility, and the  method of   nearby waters, the location of the facility in relation to
confinement (barns, open pasture, etc.) and means of   nearby waters, the means of conveyance used to carry
waste containment and disposal used by the facility.    process-generated wastewater into  nearby water
                                               bodies, site-specific factors such as slope, vegetation,
What are "animal units" (AUs)?   '              and rainfall, and the type and frequency of discharge
                                               into nearby waters.
The term "animal unit" refers to a unit of measurement
used to standardize measurements of size of AFOs. The   Why are CAFOs of concern in terms of water
number of AUs is determined by multiplying the   pollution?
number of animals of each species (otherthan poultry)
by an equivalency factor and adding the totals. Species   CAFOs may  potentially contaminate nearby creeks,
equivalency factors for mammalian livestock are:      steams, rivers, lakes, and estuaries from runoff  and
   Species                 Factor               discharges during normal operations. Additionally,
   Horses                    2.0                CAFOs are of  special concern during periods of
   Mature dairy cattle          1.4                excessive precipitation, because animal waste collection
   Slaughter/Feeder cattle      1.0                devices and holding facilities are likely to be
   Swine (>551bs.)             0.4                overwhelmed during these events, allowing large
   Sheep or lambs             0.1                volumes of wastewater to enter nearby surface water
How are AFOs defined, and when do they become
CAFOs?                                       Public concern over the contamination of surface  and
                                               ground water  from animal agricultural waste is
An animal feeding operation, or AFO, is a facility where   currently renewing interest on the part of both the
animals are, have, or will be confined and fed or   livestock industry, the public, and regulatory agencies
maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-   in developing strategies for reducing and eliminating
month period. These confinement areas (bams, sheds,   this source of water pollution.  Of particular concern
yards, etc.) do not sustain crops or forage growth in   are degradation of surface and ground waters from
the normal growing season. If the AFO  houses more   nitrogen, phosphorus, and pathogens.  EPA estimates
than a total of 1,000 animal units, 55,000 or more   that animal agriculture contributes about one-third to
turkeys, 100,000 or more laying hens or. broilers with   one-half of all the nonpoint surface water pollution in
continuous overflow watering, 30,000 or more hens or   the United States, primarily from  the improper
broilers on a liquid manure system, oir 5,000 or more   application  of animal wastes from confinement
ducks, then the facility meets the definition of a CAFO.   operations and grazing.

 If the facility has more than 300 total animal units; 16,   What is being done to help solve the problem?
16,500 turkeys, 30,000 laying hens or broilers on
continuous overflow watering, 9,000 laying hens or   EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination
broilers on a liquid manure system, or 1,500 ducks, and   System (NPDES) program provides a means of
discharges pollutants into nearby waters by means of   addressing the problem by regulating the discharge of
a man-made ditch, flushing system, or other similar   pollutants from CAFOs by permit Under criteria set
man-made device, or discharges pollutants directly into   forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR),

Information on NPDES regulations governing
CAFOs (con't from p. 1):

 Summary of Water Pollution from Feedlot
  Waste: An Analysis of its Magnitude and
  Geographic Distribution, EPA Feedlots
  Workgroup, 1993.
Additional Information from the Code of
Federal Regulations and citations in the
FEDERAL REGISTER can help understand the
NPDES regulations applicable to CAFOs:

 Criteria far Determining a Concentrated
  Animal Feeding Operation, 40 CFR Section
  122, Appendix B (1992);

 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations,
  40 CFR Section 122.23 (1992);

 EPA Effluent Guidelines and Standards for
  Feedlots, 40 CFR 412 (Revised through July 1,

 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination
  System and State Program Elements
  Necessary for Participation: Concentrated Animal  .
  Feeding Operations, 40 CFR 54182 (Nov. 20,

 State Program Elements Necessary for
  Participation in the National Pollutant Discharge
  Elimination System: Concentrated Animal
  Feeding Operations, 41 FR11458 (Mar. 18,

 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination
  System General Permit Requirements for
  Discharges from Concentrated Animal
  Feeding Operations (Region 6 Final Notice),
  58 FR 7610 (Feb. 8,1993).
              Where Can I Go For More Information?

              Additional information on NPDES regulations affect-
              ing CAFOs can be obtained by contacting the Permits
              Branch in your nearest EPA Regional Office:

                     EPA Region I (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
                     JFK Federal Building, Boston, MA 02203

                     EPA Region II (NJ, NY, PR, VI)
                     26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278
                     (212) 264-9894

                     EPA Region III pC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV)
                     841 Chestnut Building, Philadelphia, PA 19107
                     (215) 597-9078

                     EPA Region IV (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC,
                     345 Courtland Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30365
                     (404) 347-2019

                     EPA Region V (IL, IN, MI, OH, MN, WI)
                     230 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3507
                     (312) 353-2079

                     EPA Region VI (AR, LA, OK, NM, TX)
                     1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202
                     (214) 655-7171

                     EPA Region VII (IA, KS, MO, NE)
                     726 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101
                     (913) 551-7034

                     EPA Region VIH (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)
                     99918th Street, Denver, CO 80202-2413
                     (303) 293-1623

                     EPA Region IX (AS, AZ, CA,CMI/GU,HI,NV)
                     75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

                     EPA Region X (AK, ID, OR, WA)
                     1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

Office of Wastewatcr Management
Permits Division (4203)
401 M Street SW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 260-9537/FAX (202) 260-1460
Nonpoint Source:

Office of Wetlands, Oceans
and Watersheds
Fail-child Bldg.
499 South Capitol Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 260-7040/FAX (202) 260-7024

Office of Enforcement and
Compliance Assurance
Ariel Rios Bldg.
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20044
(202) 564-2280/FAX (202) 5640028