Proposal – Concentrated Animal Feeding
Operations (CAFOs) Pollution Prevention
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Environmental Problem Statement
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are agricultural facilities that house and feed a large number of animals in a concentrated area for 45 days or more during any 12-month period. CAFOs contribute to pollution in air, water, and soil, causing risk to human health and ecological damage. Combined, the beef, dairy, pork, and poultry industries generate six to ten times as much waste as humans. The major stressors associated with the generation and disposal of these wastes include nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous), sediments from runoff, veterinary pharmaceuticals (e.g., endocrine disrupting chemicals, arsenic, ivermectin, and antibiotics), pathogenic organisms, and atmospheric emissions of gases and particulates.
Definition of the Technology Challenge
CAFOs constitute a complex multi-media issue that necessitates a host of technology solutions to effectively address all of the real and potential adverse effects on human health and the environment. Solutions to this challenge include:
Each of these solutions has a unique set of obstacles on the path to successful implementation.
Milestones, Actions, and Due Dates
Initial work will focus on leveraging existing activities with new projects that foster innovative technology solutions. The team will continue to meet to further define the approach and to identify milestones and responsibilities in a final action plan (to be completed no later than mid-November). Team actions will include: