Palouse agriculture slice

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation General Permit

dairy cows feeding

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 general permit to protect water from manure discharge pollution from animal facilities. This permit 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.

chicken farm

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 to gather input and hear concerns about an updated CAFO permit. We will convene more public involvement opportunities in the future.

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 recieved will be the next draft of the permit.

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toggle What is an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO)?

toggle What is a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)?

Current Expired Permit Documents

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

Notice of Termination - Use to cancel your permit coverage.

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