September 5, 2018
How Long is a Piece of String?
It depends! And, that’s the answer to the question, “What do I do about complying with regulations when it comes to building a livestock facility?”
What type of operation are you planning to build and how many animals does it involve? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) are agricultural enterprises where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. AFOs congregate animals, and feed is brought in to the animals rather than them grazing. There are approximately 450,000 AFOs in the United States.
A CAFO is another EPA term for a large concentrated AFO. A CAFO is an AFO with more than 1000 animal units (an animal unit is defined as an animal equivalent of 1000 pounds live weight and equates to 1000 head of beef cattle, 700 dairy cows, 2500 swine weighing more than 55 lbs, 125 thousand broiler chickens, or 82 thousand laying hens or pullets) confined on site for more than 45 days during the year. Any size AFO that discharges manure or wastewater into a natural or man-made ditch, stream or other waterway is defined as a CAFO, regardless of size. CAFOs are regulated by EPA under the Clean Water Act in both the 2003 and 2008 versions of the “CAFO” rule.
For reference, check these definitions provided from USDA:
National Resources on AFO and CAFO