Meat and Poultry Products Effluent Guidelines - 2024 Proposed Rule
The EPA is proposing an amendment to the Meat and Poultry Products category regulation at 40 CFR Part 432. Public hearings on the proposal were held on January 24 and January 31, 2024. An additional public hearing will be held on March 20, 2024. Public comments on the proposal may be submitted through March 25, 2024.
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Meat and Poultry Products (MPP) facilities discharge pollutants into the nation’s waters and to POTWs. Pollutants found in MPP wastewater include oil and grease, organic material, salts, ammonia, and significant quantities of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus). The MPP category is one of the largest sources of industrial nutrient pollution in the country. Nutrient pollution is one of the most widespread and costly environmental problems impacting surface water quality in the U.S. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus in surface water can lead to a variety of problems, including eutrophication and harmful algal blooms, which have negative impacts on human health and the environment.
The proposed rule contains three options. For existing direct dischargers, the EPA’s preferred option would establish more stringent effluent limitations for nitrogen and, for the first time, limitations for phosphorus. The preferred option would also establish, for the first time, pretreatment standards for oil and grease, total suspended solids, and biochemical oxygen demand. The preferred regulatory option would apply to approximately 850 of the 5,000 MPP facilities nationwide.
The proposal contains two additional options on which the EPA is requesting public comment. These options would apply effluent limitations to additional direct and indirect dischargers. The two additional options would also establish pretreatment standards for nitrogen and phosphorus for some of the indirect discharging facilities included in the preferred option.
In addition to the three options, the EPA is requesting comment on a provision that would require segregation and management of high-salt waste streams that are produced at some facilities, as well as the addition of E. coli bacteria as a regulated parameter for direct dischargers.
The EPA estimates that the proposed rule would reduce pollutants discharged through wastewater from MPP facilities by approximately 100 million pounds per year.
The EPA is conducting an additional public hearing on March 20, 2024:
- March 20, 2024. 1:00 PM EDT. Online-only hearing. You may register to provide testimony or register as "listen-only."
- Participants who wish to provide comment should register before 12:00 PM EDT on March 19.
- Register for the March 20 public hearing
Past Public Hearings on Proposed Rule
The EPA also conducted public hearings about the proposed rule on January 24 and 31, 2024:
The EPA is accepting public comments on the proposal through March 25, 2024. Please see the Federal Register notice for information on how to submit comments. You may submit comments online at regulations.gov. The Docket Number is EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0736.
- Proposed Rule - Federal Register Notice (January 23, 2024)
- Fact Sheet - Proposed Rule: Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Meat and Poultry Products Point Source Category (pdf)
- News Release (December 15, 2023)
- Support documents:
- Technical Development Document for Proposed Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Meat and Poultry Products Point Source Category (pdf)
- Environmental Assessment for Proposed Revisions to the Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Meat and Poultry Products Point Source Category (pdf)
- Benefit Cost Analysis for Proposed Revisions to the Effluent Guidelines for the Meat and Poultry Products Category - December 2023 (pdf)
- Regulatory Impact Analysis for Revisions to the Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Meat and Poultry Products Point Source Category (pdf)
All supporting materials for the rulemaking can be found at the EPA's docket at regulations.gov. The Docket Number is EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0736.
For additional technical information about the proposed rule, please contact Steve Whitlock (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 202-566-1541. For economic information, please contact Todd Doley (email@example.com) or 202-566-1160.