Historical Permit Development Information
2017 Permit Reissuance
Legislative letters concerning CAFO permit options
Draft permit documents
Public workshops and hearing were held:
Preliminary Draft Permit
Ecology held an informational webinar on August 11, 2015 about the preliminary draft CAFO permit. This was followed by a public comment period from August 11, 2015 to October 2, 2015. Ecology's response to the comments it received will be the next draft of the permit.
Previous Listening Sessions:
Listening Session Documents
2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ecology and Washington Department of Agriculture
Expired Permit Information
Appeal to Washington State Court of Appeals (No. 36974-5-II)
Appeal to Pollution Control Hearings Board (No. 06-057)
In 2003, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the federal CAFO rule Under the 2003 rules, CAFOs that discharge or propose to discharge to waters of the state are point source polluters and regulated by the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program.
NOTE: The 2003 CAFO rule was appealed, as were subsequent modifications to the federal rule. For more information see EPA's web page on CAFO Regulations.
Incorporating the 2003 federal CAFO rules, the Second Circuit Court “Waterkeeper” decision, and two public comment periods, Department of Ecology (Ecology) issued the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) National Pollution Discharge Elimination System and State Waste Discharge General Permit on June 21, 2006. This permit became effective July 7, 2006 and expires July 21, 2011.
The CAFO General Permit is part of a split livestock program covered by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) overseen by both Ecology and Wasthington Department of Agriculture (WSDA). Ecology is responsible for administering the permit, while Agriculture provides inspection and technical assistance to CAFO permitted facilities and to dairies covered under the Dairy Nutrient Management Act (RCW 90.64).
Nutrient management plans (NMPs) play a central role in CAFO permits. CAFO facilities that apply for permit coverage are required to submit an NMP that conforms to United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG) or equivalent best management practices (BMPS) to Ecology for review and acceptance at the time they submit their application. When the NMP is accepted and permit coverage issued, the terms of the NMP become the terms of the CAFO Permit that the Permittee must meet.
If a facility meets the definition of a CAFO and has or had discharges to waters of the state, it has a duty to apply for coverage under the CAFO General Permit. CAFOs that do not have a duty to apply for permit coverage due to discharge may voluntarily choose to apply for permit coverage.
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