The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new set of rules intended to reduce water pollution from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). The proposal has generated considerable concern and many questions from producers, and EPA has extended the comment period to midnight July 30, 2001.

To help producers participate, Extension specialists and faculty at Iowa State University have developed a guide for preparing comments on the proposed CAFO rules. The guide provides definitions and explanations for some of the key topics in the EPA proposal. It also offers some sample questions on topics of interest, such as winter feeding pasture cattle, applying manure to crops and developing a Permit Nutrient Plan (PNP).

Following are tips from EPA to make your comments more effective.

  • Be as specific as possible in stating your objection to/support for a component and your suggestions for alternative changes.
  • Focus comments on issues where you can cite data to support your position. Help EPA understand the practical (or impractical) implications of the proposed rules.
  • If the language in the regulation is confusing to you, it is confusing to others. Help EPA rewrite it to achieve their objectives.
  • Tell EPA, from a scientific/technical/economic perspective, how the proposed rules can be cost-effective.
  • If EPA has left out elements that you believe are important to control pollution from CAFOs, please include your suggestions for additions or alternatives in your comments. Include support for existing sections of the rule that you believe are important. A component that does not receive support may not be retained in the final regulation.

You can access the entire guide for preparing comments on the Internet at You also can find the complete EPA document on the Iowa Beef Center site, or at You can request the documents from EPA at (202) 260-7786. You will reach a recording. Ask for document number 40CFR, Parts 122 and 412 or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Regulation and Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations; Proposed Rule. The agency will mail the Federal Register document to you.

Send your comments on the proposed CAFO regulations to the following address.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Proposed Rule
USEPA Office of Water
Engineering and Analysis Division (4303)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington D.C. 20460
e-mail to:

Comments must be postmarked by midnight July 30, 2001. EPA requests that you submit an original and three copies of your written comments and enclose any reference materials you cite. Comments submitted electronically must reference the docket number OW-00-27.