Preventing Animal Waste from Contaminating Surface and Ground Water
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are a subset of livestock and poultry animal feeding operations (AFOs) that meet the regulatory thresholds of number of animals for various animal types. Animals are kept and raised in confined situations for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period and feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise feeding in pastures, fields, or on rangeland. At these facilities, live animals as well as mortalities, feed, and animal wastes may be congregated on a small land area. These operations generate significant volumes of animal waste which, if improperly managed can result in environmental and human health risks such as water quality impairment, fish kills, algal blooms, contamination of drinking water sources, and transmission of disease-causing bacteria and parasites associated with food and waterborne diseases.
In its 2008 report on CAFOs, GAO estimated that a swine operation with 800,000 hogs would generate more than 1.6 million tons of manure annually—more than one and a half times the sanitary waste produced by the about 1.5 million residents of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in one year.
EPA will take action to reduce animal waste pollution from livestock and poultry operations that impair our nation’s waters, threaten drinking water sources, and adversely impact communities.
Progress on Enforcement and Compliance Activities
The following maps and charts show EPA's progress in reducing animal waste pollution from livestock and poultry operations.
- Chart showing permitted vs non-permitted CAFOs by state/territory
- Chart showing cumulative number of EPA CAFO inspections
- Chart showing cumulative number of EPA CAFO concluded enforcement actions