By Dr. Kristi Henderson, assistant director, Scientific Activities Division
In December 2011, the AVMA provided comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Agency’s proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule. While the purpose of the proposed rule was to improve and restore water quality, the means by which it would have done so would have jeopardized the safety and biosecurity of the feeding operations it intended to catalogue. If adopted, the proposed rule would have led to the collection of facility-specific information, including addresses and GPS points, of CAFOs for a public database, which would not only increase the risks to farms, but also the security of the U.S. food supply. The AVMA offered alternative means, including utilization of pre-existing and co-collected data, for the EPA to gather the information it needed without increasing the risks to livestock, producers, and the public.
Recently, the EPA announced that it had withdrawn the proposed rule. Some of the EPA’s justifications for doing so matched reasons why the AVMA opposed the proposed rule. For more information on the AVMA’s comments to the EPA, please visit the AVMA's Advocacy page on this issue. Additionally, the EPA provides the CAFO Rule History.
For more information, please contact khendersonavma [dot] org (Dr. Kristi Henderson), assistant director, Scientific Activities Division