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EPA unveils new permit for Idaho

April 12, 2012  by Press release

April 10, 2012, Boise, ID  — A new water discharge permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) has been released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Boise, ID.

The new EPA General Permit regulates discharges to surface waters from most Idaho CAFOs, including those on tribal lands. The permit covers a wide array of Idaho livestock operations, not only beef cattle and dairy cows, but also horses, sheep, pigs and poultry.

According to Mike Bussell, director of the EPA’s office of water and watersheds in Seattle, the agency is reaching out to help CAFO owners or operators understand why they need to apply for the permit if they expect to discharge to a nearby stream, creek, lake or river.

“This permit will give producers the certainty they’ve been seeking,” said Bussell, “Our message is clear: If you operate a CAFO and there’s runoff from pens, feed and manure storage areas, or areas where manure is spread, you need a permit.”


Operations covered by the new general permit include:

  • any animal feeding operation that either meets the EPA definition of a CAFO, or designated a CAFO by EPA; and
  • any CAFO that discharges to surface water from where animals are confined or manure and wastewater is spread.

In addition to the standard permit application, CAFO owners and operators must submit a nutrient management plan for the EPA’s initial review. The EPA reviews these documents and will make them available for public comment before granting permit coverage.

CAFOs that have had permits in the past and wish to have continued coverage under the new permit, or CAFOs that discharge, will have 90 days after May 9, 2012 (effective date), to apply for their permit, submit their plan for review and obtain coverage under the new permit.

For more about the new permit, please visit


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