Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation General Permit
Manure from facilities that confine large numbers of animals, such as cows, beef, poultry, horses, and others, can pose a threat to water quality. Under Ecology’s state and federal water quality responsibilities, we administer a permit to protect water from manure discharge pollution from animal facilities. This permit is the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) general permit, which is a combined National Pollutant Discharge Eliminations System (NPDES) and State Waste Discharge permit. Generally, a CAFO is a facility that confines animals for 45 days or more during any 12 month period in an area that does not contain forage or crops and that has or had a discharge. The actual federal CAFO rule definition is more detailed and may be found below. CAFOs that discharge to waters of the state are required to apply for permit coverage.
Washington’s CAFO permit expired in July 2011. We have begun the public process to update and improve the protections this permit provides to our water. As part of our process, we held listening sessions with stakeholders such as the livestock industry and environmental groups. The purpose of the listening sessions is to gather input and hear concerns from interested parties about an updated CAFO permit. We will convene more public involvement opportunities in the future.
Past Listening Sessions:
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What is an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO)?
What is a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)?
Current Permit Documents
Notice of Termination - Use to cancel your permit coverage.
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