EPA will withdraw proposed rule that would have required all concentrated animal feeding operations, regardless of whether they discharge into water, to report information about their operations.
The Environmental Protection Agency will withdraw a proposed rule, widely opposed by livestock and other industry groups, that would have required all concentrated animal feeding operations to report information about their operations, regardless of whether they discharge into water.
In a notice that will soon be published in the Federal Register, the agency said it would collect basic information on CAFOs through existing sources at the state and local level. EPA said it had established a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Clean Water Administrators, which will assist the agency in collecting information.
EPA posted the notice on its website July 13. The agency said that working with states was an efficient approach that would “not duplicate efforts” from existing programs. The agency reserved the right to initiate a similar rulemaking at a future date.
First proposed in November 2011 as part of a settlement with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Waterkeeper Alliance, and the Sierra Club, the rule would have required all CAFOs to report data on the size of their facilities and basic operational characteristics. The proposed rule also offered the option of only requiring information from CAFOs in watersheds with poor water quality compliance problems (NRDC v. EPA, 5th Cir., No. 08-61093, settlement reached 6/16/2010).
Another option in the proposed rule would have used already available information from CAFOs with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.
The settlement resolved a lawsuit filed by environmental groups opposing a 2008 CAFO rule that excluded certain facilities from reporting requirements.