2012 Final CAFO Rule to Remove 5th Circuit Court’s Vacated Elements
On July 19, 2012, EPA issued a final rule to revise its CAFO permit regulation to remove the requirement that CAFOs that “propose to discharge” must seek NPDES permit coverage. This rule revision is in response to a 2011 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decision in National Pork Producers Council v. EPA, which vacated portions of the Agency’s 2008 CAFO rule. In addition, this action removed from the CAFO permit regulation the option to voluntarily certify that a CAFO does not discharge or propose to discharge. The voluntary certification provision is unnecessary because the “propose to discharge” requirement is being removed.
Final CAFO Rule to Remove Vacated Elements in Response to Fifth Circuit Court’s Decision
Consolidated Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Regulations (38 pp, 452K) – This document consolidates the current federal CAFO regulatory requirements included in the 2012 CAFO Rule Revision to remove the 5th Circuit Court’s vacated elements, and the 2008 and 2003 Final CAFO Rules into a single document.
2012 Final Action on the 2011 Proposed NPDES CAFO Reporting Rule
EPA is withdrawing a proposed rule that would have required information to be submitted to the Agency about concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The 2011 proposal was in part a response to a settlement agreement reached with environmental petitioners in 2010, which required EPA to take final action by July 13, 2012. Although collecting CAFO information is important, the Agency believes an efficient approach that does not duplicate efforts is the appropriate next step. EPA will collect CAFO information using existing sources of information, including state NPDES programs and other programs at the federal, state, and local level to help ensure CAFOs are implementing practices that protect water quality.
Any CAFO information collected through consolidating existing data sources will assist in implementation of the Clean Water Act. EPA’s final action on the proposal does not require CAFOs or states to submit information to EPA. EPA’s withdrawal of this proposal does not change which CAFOs need permits under NPDES.
Federal Register Notice for the Final Action on the 2011 Proposed NPDES CAFO Reporting Rule (4 pp, 219K)
Q&As (PDF) (3 pp, 155K)