Old McDonald catches a break? EPA withdraws proposed CAFO rule

7 Aug 2012

From our friends at Dragun Corporation comes this post about EPA withdrawing its most recently proposed CAFO rule.  A CAFO is a concentrated animal feeding operation – in other words, a large scale farm.  There are hundreds of thousands of these across the US, mostly farms with large numbers of cows, pigs and/or chickens. These farms have been regulated by the US EPA since 2003 under the Clean Water Act.  Most of the actual regulation was delegated to the States.

In 2008, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a 2008 report that the government did not have accurate or consistent data on the number, size, and location of CAFOs and that the EPA needed that information to effectively regulate these operations.   EPA agreed in a May 25, 2010, settlement to systematically collect basic information about CAFOs — their location, number and type of animals, and manure storage and disposal methods.

On October 21, 2011, EPA published a proposed rule requiring CAFOs to submit this information. As you can see from Dragun’s post, this sudden, silent reversal is somewhat perplexing.

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