Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Compliance Monitoring
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
- Pretreatment of Wastewater
- Oil Spill Prevention
- Industrial Storm Water
- Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
- Municipal Storm Water
- Wastewater Trading Program
- Discharge Monitoring Report - Quality Assurance
Under the Clean Water Act, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are defined as point source dischargers. The revised National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) CAFO regulation requires all CAFOs to apply for and comply with the conditions in an NPDES permit. If the owner and operator are different entities, only one of them needs to apply for a permit. The NPDES regulation describes which operations qualify as CAFOs and sets forth the basic requirements that will be included in all CAFOs' permits.
EPA develops national enforcement initiatives that focus on significant environmental risks and noncompliance patterns. For Fiscal Years 2008 to 2010, the CAFO national enforcement initiative aims to protect public health and the environment by minimizing the discharge to surface water of pollutants from CAFOs and assisting states in enhancing capacity of their CAFO programs.
For information to help determine if you require a NPDES permit, EPA has prepared a Producers' Compliance Guide for CAFOs.
EPA and state permitting authorities use several approaches to monitor compliance with environmental regulations.
- Inspections - EPA and state permitting authorities may periodically inspect facilities subject to these regulations. Inspections may be in response to a citizen complaint or tip, a result of a random selection, or targeting based on a state's targeting method. EPA and state permitting authorities conduct two main types of inspections at CAFOs:
- Inspections that help to decide whether a facility is a CAFO and should have a permit.
- Inspections to determine whether a permitted CAFO is in compliance with its NPDES permit.
- Permits, records, and reports - The permitting authority will monitor all information submitted, including an annual report. The permitting authority might also request a copy of the nutrient management plan.
- Self-audit and self-disclosure - Permittees are responsible for ensuring that a CAFO is always in compliance with the conditions in the NPDES permit. EPA encourages the use of its Audit Policy or Small Business Policy if a facility self-discovers it is in non-compliance.