Agriculture: Animal Production
- Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program (NPDES) for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
- Animal Agriculture Industry Partnerships
- Federal CAFO Inspection Information/Biosecurity
- State Animal Feeding Operation Programs
- Clean Air Act and Animal Feeding Operations
- Air Quality Conservation Practices
- CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements
- Pasture, Rangeland and Grazing Information
- Related Information from EPA
- Related Information from USDA
Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) are agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. AFOs generally congregate animals, feed, manure, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area. Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures. Animal waste and wastewater can enter water bodies from spills or breaks of waste storage structures (due to accidents or excessive rain), and non-agricultural application of manure to crop land.
- Animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and
- Crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility.
AFOs that meet the regulatory definition of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) may be regulated under the NPDES permitting program. The NPDES program regulates the discharge of pollutants from point sources to waters of the United States. CAFOs are point sources, as defined by the CWA [Section 502(14)]. To be considered a CAFO, a facility must first be defined as an AFO.
- Regulatory Information on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
- Enforcement Initiative: Preventing Animal Waste from Contaminating Surface and Ground Water
- Information on Waters of the U.S./Clean Water Rule
Animal Agriculture Industry Partnerships
EPA established an Animal Agriculture Discussion Group (AADG) to develop a shared understanding of how to implement the Clean Water Act. AADG keeps communication open and improves two-way understandings of viewpoints. AADG is an informal and iterative group of animal agriculture stakeholders including representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), all sectors of the animal feeding industry and their associations, academia, and states. The group convenes via conference calls and face-to-face meetings twice per year. EPA and industry collaborate to conduct joint projects for water quality protection.
- CAFO Inspections - For livestock and poultry operation owners, what to expect from EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) inspections.
- EPA's Routine Biosecurity Procedures for EPA Personnel Visiting Farms, Ranches, Slaughterhouses and Other Facilities with Livestock and Poultry
- Regulatory information
- Reporting Requirements for Air Emissions from Animal Waste Management Systems
Air Quality Conservation Practices
- Agricultural Air Quality Conservation Measures Reference Guide for Poultry and Livestock Production Systems - This guide describes different conservation measures for poultry and livestock operations that have been successfully demonstrated to reduce emissions of various air pollutants on farms. In addition, it offers general comments on the applicability of the measures to different types of farms and ranges of potential emission reductions.
CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements
- CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Animal Waste at Farms - On March 23, 2018, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Omnibus Bill), was signed into law. Title XI of the Omnibus Bill, called the “Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act” or “FARM Act” exempts the reporting of “air emissions from animal waste at a farm” under CERCLA.
Pasture, Rangeland, and Grazing information
Information about environmental issues specifically relating to the livestock production in pastures, rangeland, and other grazing operations.
- Information from EPA on pastures, rangelands, and grazing
You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
- Environmental Stewardship Brochures:
- Dairies and Environmental Stewardship (PDF) (6 pp, 6.7 K, About PDF)
- Swine Production and Environmental Stewardship (PDF) (6 pp, 6.8 K, About PDF)
- Poultry Production and Environmental Stewardship (PDF) (6 pp, 6.6 K, About PDF)
- Beef Cattle and Environmental Stewardship (PDF) (6 pp, 7 K, About PDF)
- Nutrient Pollution and Agriculture - Animal manure, excess fertilizer applied to crops and fields, and soil erosion make agriculture one of the largest sources of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the country.
- Estimated Animal Agriculture Nitrogen and Phosphorus from Manure - Animal agriculture manure is a primary source of nitrogen and phosphorus to surface and groundwater. Manure runoff from cropland and pastures or discharging animal feeding operations and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) often reaches surface and groundwater systems through surface runoff or infiltration.
- Beneficial Uses of Manure and Environmental Protection
- Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) - Permitting Program
- Identifying and Controlling Discharges from Horse Racing Operations (PDF) (6 pp, 654 K, About PDF)
- USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning (CNMP)
- eXtension Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) The LPELC is a network made up of professionals from across the U.S. (and Canada) with an interest and expertise in some aspect of animal agriculture and environmental stewardship.