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                   Office of Wastewater Management
                      NPDES Regulations Governing Management
                      Of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
NPDES and how it affects the maintenance and
operation of  concentrated animal  feeding

NPDES stands for EPA's National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System. The NPDES program provides a
system for regulating the discharge of pollutants from
"point" (or discreet) sources into the waters of the
United States by allowing discharges only under
certain conditions specified by the permit. The NPDES
program was established under the Amendments to
the Clean Water Act(CWA) of 1972. Section 502 of the
Act defined "concentrated animal feeding operations"
(CAFOs) as point sources subject to regulation under
the Act.  As a result, NPDES regulations were written
and published  in 1976 defining CAFOs and  the
conditions under which they are required to obtain an
NPDES permit.

What are CAFOs and how are they defined?

Basically, CAFOs are animal feeding operations (AFOs)
that meet or exceed numbers of animals (according to
species)  established for animal feeding operations. A
facility is considered to be an animal feeding opera-
tion if it stables, confines, feeds, or maintains animals
for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period,
and does not sustain crops, vegetation, forage growth,
or post-harvested residues in the normal growing sea-
son over any portion of the facility. Animal feeding
operations are considered to be CAFOs if they meet
these two criteria and, in addition, house more than
1,000 animal units; house between 301 and 1.000 ani-
mal units and meet or may meet certain discharge re-
quirements; or .have been designated a CAFO by the
permitting authority on a case-by-case basis. "Animal
units" are defined by species under the Code of Fed-
eral Regulations (CFR), at 40 CFR122, Appendix B(a).
Method of discharge requirements are set forth under
40 CFR 122, Appendix B(b). Permitting authority on
case-by-case bases is described under 40 CFR 122.23(c).

Why are CAFOs of concern in terms of water pol-

CAFOs  may potentially contaminate nearby creeks,
steams,  rivers, lakes, and estuaries from runoff and
discharges during normal operations. Additionally,
CAFOs are of special concern during periods of exces-
sive precipitation, because animal waste collection de-
vices and holding facilities are likely to be overwhelmed
during these events.
Impact of severe weather conditions on CAFOs
under the NPDES Program.

Animal feeding operations that are designated as
CAFOs that experience excessive rainfall events and
discharge animal wastes during these events are subject
to a specific exemption from NPDES regulations
according to the criteria defining a 25-year, 24-hour
storm. These criteria are a statistical calculation of the
National Weather Service, and define the maximum
24-hour precipitation expected per event, with a
probability of the event recurring once in  25 years.
Maps  published by the Service show the amount of
rainfall that constitute the 25-year, 24-hour storm event
for every  location in the United States. Similar
catastrophic events include tornadoes, hurricanes,
floods, and other events that would cause an overflow
from the required waste  retention structure  into
surrounding waters. A chronic rainfall event is a series
of wet weather conditions that preclude dewatering of
a properly maintained waste retention structure.

Simply put, an AFO discharging animal wastes only
during such a  catastrophic event does not violate the
CWA.  However, CAFOs without NPDES permits
authorizing discharges under any other condition than
the 25-year, 24-hour storm event would be in violation
of the CWA because, absent a permit, they are  not
authorized to discharge wastes at any time  or in any

What Information is Available on NPDES Regu-
lations Governing CAFOs?

EPA's Office of Wastewater Management.has
published the Guide Manual on NPDES Regulations for
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, (EPA 833-B-95-
001; December, 1995). Other useful EPA publications

 Treatment and Ultimate Disposal of Cattle Feed-
   lot Wastes, EPA 660/2-75-013. 1975;

 Development Document for Effluent Limitations
  Guidelines and New Source Performance Standard
  far the Feedlots Point Source Category, EPA 440/
  1-74-004-a. 1974;

 Feedlots Case Studies of Selected States, EPA
  Feedlots Workgroup. 1993;

 Guidance for Specifying Management Measures
  far Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal
  Waters, EPA, Office of Water. January 1993.

Information on NFDE5 regulations governing
CAFOs (con't. from p. 1):

 Summary of Water Pollution from Fecdlot
  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
NFDES regulations applicable to CAFOs:

 Criteria for 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 (DC, 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
                    (415) 744-1877

                    EPA Region X (AK, ID, OR, WA)
                    1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
                    (206) 553-1728

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
Fairchild 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) 5644028