The EPA recently has conducted several inspection and enforcement activities with Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations as part of an increased national emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of pollutants from CAFOs into rivers and streams.

No feedlot operator wants an inspection, but the EPA offers these tips to make the process easier if it happens.

1. Are you discharging? Evaluate your facilities to determine if any runoff is getting into nearby rivers and streams. If you are discharging, contact the state regulatory agency to determine waste controls and permit requirements.

2. Are you controlling runoff from feed storage areas? CAFOs are required to control runoff from all production areas, including feed storage.

3. Are you controlling runoff from manure or bedding stockpiles? These stockpiles are considered part of a facility’s production area even if they are located outside the facility’s footprint.

4. Is your facility medium sized? If your operation conveys runoff from the production area through a man-made ditch, flushing system or other similar man-made device, then you need to obtain a permit or stop the discharge. 

5. Read your National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and implement its requirements.

6. Are you counting animals correctly? Both EPA and state regulatory agencies require that species in open lots be counted together with similar species in confinement for the purposes of determining your size status as a CAFO. 

7. Maintain complete and accurate animal inventory records. One of the first things an inspector does is determine your CAFO status by looking at the number of animals that have been confined at your facility.

8. If you have an NPDES permit, you cannot expand operations beyond the cap-acity listed in your current permit without authorization from the state regulatory agency.

9. Maintain lagoon berms free of trees, shrubs and erosion features and follow pump-down level requirements for lagoons to maintain adequate storage levels. 

10. Maintain records for land application of manure solids and liquids and follow a nutrient-management plan to demonstrate that you are implementing appropriate land-application practices.