Livestock organizations are working together to submit comments pertaining to the proposed new rule referred to as the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) 308 rule. The rule has been proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require CAFOs to report information about their operations under Section 308 of the Clean Water Act, which deals with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Comments on the rule are due Dec. 20.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) are working with other livestock organizations to submit comments. According to the Iowa Ag Connection, NCBA strongly opposes the proposed rule and questions whether EPA has the authority to gather this information from all CAFOs. A 5th Circuit Court ruling earlier this year limited EPA’s authority over CAFOs to only those that actually discharge.
NCBA is also concerned because EPA plans to publish the data it receives on its website for public review, which could potentially lead to security and food safety concerns for beef producers. NCBA has submitted procedural comments about this intrusion into proprietary information.
EPA is pursuing the rulemaking because of a private settlement made with environmental groups after an appeal was made to a 2008 EPA action. The agreement required EPA to pursue a rule requiring the submission of information from CAFOs, including the name and address of the farmer; longitude and latitude of the operation; number and type of animals; types of manure storage used; quantity of manure produced; quantity of land used for manure application; the presence of a nutrient management plan; and, whether the farmer transfers manure off-site, if so, the quantity transferred to recipients.
Learn more about the proposed rule and the comment period at http://nationalhogfarmer.com/environmental-stewardship/mortality-management/1110-proposed-cafo-rule and NPDES at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/index.cfm.
Additional information about the proposed rule requirements for CAFOs with a NPDES permit will be presented during a live webcast on Dec. 9, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. (CST). The webcast will provide an overview and answers to questions about the proposed rule. Visit http://www.extension.org/pages/Live_Webcast_Information on Dec. 9 to download the speaker’s PowerPoint presentation and connect to the virtual meeting room. This webcast is sponsored by the eXtension Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center.