There has been a lot happening in the CAFO regulatory arena. Another final revision to the Federal CAFO rule was published in the Federal Register in October 2008. The Missouri Clean Water Commission reviewed a proposed Missouri Nutrient Management Standard for permitted CAFOs in January 2009 and plans to finalize this new standard by the end of February.
So how do these changes affect permitted animal feeding operations in Missouri? For most operations there will be no immediate impact. Most permitted operations are covered by the Missouri General Permit. The General Permit will expire in February 2011. You can continue operating your farm meeting the terms and conditions of this current permit until it expires. This means all operations under the General Permit have about two years before they need to meet the requirements of the new rules.
There are two exceptions to this advice. Operations that have "site-specific" permits will need to meet the requirements of the new rules when their permit is renewed. These permits have renewal dates that do not correspond with the General Permit. The expiration date will be listed on the permit. Most site-specific permits are held by the largest operations in the state (Class IA).
Any new permits issued by MDNR after February 27, 2009 as either General or site-specific permits will meet the new permit requirements. So any new operations or operations that add a new source such as a new building with a manure storage will have the new regulatory standards in their new permit.
The full impact of the October 2008 Federal CAFO rule is still being sorted out. Some issues include:
The good news is that most permitted farms will have two years to determine how these rules may affect them and develop a strategy to implement the new requirements.
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REVISED: June 15, 2012