Many key improvements are being proposed in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) rules governing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

NPPC filed extensive comments recently that largely supported changes in the draft proposal. Rules for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Regulations and Effluent Limitation Guidelines and Standards for CAFOs are to be finalized in December 2002.

Particularly important was EPA's emphasis on comprehensive nutrient management plans (CNMPs) and the use of environmental management systems (EMSs), says NPPC President Barb Determan.

“NPPC is pleased that EPA has embraced much of our broad vision for how the Clean Water Act should work for pork producers,” she says. “In particular, we are pleased to see continued support for the wide-scale adoption and implementation of CNMPs by all producers, the appropriate use of EMSs and efforts to ensure the responsible application of manure under all circumstances.”

Determan went on to say that NPPC's main concern is that “EPA's final rule be based on sound science and is affordable, achievable and sustainable for pork producers of all sizes and geographic locations.”