New CAFO Rule: What Do Producers Need to Do?

Is your livestock operation a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO)?

It depends.

Under West Virginia legislation passed in 2010, some livestock operations in West Virginia will now be designated as CAFOs.

Those operators will be required to apply for a permit under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Some livestock operations may qualify to be exempt from the permitting process. Will yours?

What do you need to know? What do you need to do differently?

What Changed for Agriculture?

The purpose of the NPDES permit is to protect water quality by providing for the management and control of pollutant discharges.

Originally, NPDES permits have been used for industrial point source discharges, waste water treatment plant discharges, and storm water retention ponds.

Now, agricultural nonpoint pollution—nutrient runoff—falls under the provisions of the law.

Which Operations Need Permits?

  • Pasture-based operations—predominant in West Virginia—do not fall under these new requirements unless they fail to follow best management practices (BMPs) for protecting the land and surface water.

Want More Details?

For information about creating conservation plans and nutrient management plans, contact your local office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service or West Virginia Conservation Agency.

NOTE: The WVU Extension Service is not a regulatory agency. Extension specialists and agents cannot tell you whether your operation is a CAFO. Official CAFO designations are made by the state Department of Environmental Protection or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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