Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Regulation
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) substantially revised its regulations under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in 2008. The CAFO rule is the most comprehensive federal water-quality regulation ever facing pork producers.
EPA issued a final CAFO rule in early 2003, but opposition from pork producers – including from NPPC – and a legal challenge from environmentalists prompted the agency to reconsider the regulation. The compliance costs to the agricultural industry for the initial rule were estimated to be $980 million a year; costs for the revised rule are estimated to be $335 million a year. Pork producers currently are subject to detailed regulation and are leading the nationwide effort to develop additional, science-based regulations.
Pork producers were full participants in the ground-breaking National Environmental Dialogue on Pork Production, sponsored by America’s Clean Water Foundation, which developed a comprehensive framework of proposed regulations for use by legislators and regulators at all levels. Pork producers share the concerns of all citizens for the protection of the natural resources and are committed to the best management of their pork operations.