Palouse agriculture slice

Historical Permit Development Information

2017 Permit Reissuance

Legislative letters concerning CAFO permit options

Draft permit documents

Public workshops and hearing were held:

Tuesday, July 26 at 6 pm
Whatcom Community College - Heiner Theater
237 W Kellogg Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226
Thursday, July 28 at 6 pm
Yakima Convention Center – Room B
10 North 8th Street
Yakima, WA 98901
Webinar: Wednesday, July 27 at 2 pm

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:

Date/Time Location Address
April 21, 2015
Start Time: 6:00 PM
Zillah Civic Center
119 1st Ave
Zillah, WA 98953
Google Map
NOTE: There is construction going on at the campus and they do not want anyone parking near the construction area.
April 23, 2015
Start Time: 6:00 PM
Whatcom Community College
Syre Student Center Building/Auditorium
237 West Kellogg Road
Bellingham, WA 98226
Google Map
Printable college map

Listening Session Documents

2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ecology and Washington Department of Agriculture

Expired Permit Information

2006 Permit

Appeal to Washington State Court of Appeals (No. 36974-5-II)

Appeal to Pollution Control Hearings Board (No. 06-057)

General Permit

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.

silhouette of livestock with CAFO text

Memorandum of Understanding between WSDA and Ecology (November 15, 2011)

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