Aug. 1 2022 08:05 AM

The Washington Department of Ecology is proposing updates to the state’s Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) water quality permit. Several of the proposed updates are in response to a decision made last year by the Washington State Court of Appeals following petitions against an earlier version of the permit.

In all, 24 CAFOs are regulated under this permit. The Department of Ecology oversees these facilities because they voluntarily chose to come under the permit or they released waste that entered surface or groundwater in the past. The Washington State Department of Agriculture inspects the farms and partners with the Department of Ecology to implement this permit.

As part of the permit’s five-year review cycle, the Department of Ecology is asking for feedback to revisions of the permit that applies mostly to dairies in the state. Two public hearings were held this summer, and the documents are open for public comment until August 17, 2022.

This article appeared in the August 2022 issue of Journal of Nutrient Management on page 5.

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