The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has submitted preliminary comments on the federal Clean Water Act rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

“Our initial review of the proposed rule indicates that EPA has proposed an effective regulatory program that maintains clean water while keeping regulatory costs for producers low,” says Minnesota producer Randy Spronk, chairman of NPPC's Environment Committee. “But the details are important, and we will conduct a thorough review of the proposed rule.”

The proposed rule is a revision of a 2003 regulation that called for CAFOs over a certain size to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and to implement nutrient management plans. NPPC and other groups successfully argued in federal court that the Clean Water Act only requires NPDES permits for operations that discharge. The court directed the EPA to revise the 2003 rule.

Comments on the proposed rule were to be submitted to EPA by mid-August. View the rule on EPA's Web site: www.epa.gov/npdes/regulations/cafo_revisedrule.pdf.