NPPC Requests Extension On CAFO Reporting Rule

  The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has requested a 60-day extension to Feb. 20, 2012 to file comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) reporting rule. The original proposal was published Oct. 21 with a 60-day comment period (deadline of Dec. 20.). It would require CAFOs to submit to EPA operational information so it “can more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality and human health.” Under the proposal, EPA will impose a duty to report information including basic facility facts such as contact information, location of a CAFO’s production area, permit status, the number and type of animals confined and the number of acres available for land application of manure. The information would be compiled and placed in a database. NPPC has expressed concerns that producers will incur substantial legal liability, and that compiling the information in one place could put their operations’ biosecurity and privacy under the rule at risk. NPPC also believes that the rule provides little or no added benefit to improving manure management or protecting water resources.  NPPC suggests that the extension of the comment period is warranted given the fact that pork producers were in the fields for harvest for much of the original 60-day comment period, not proving them sufficient time to comment. For more information about the proposal, go to http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/afo/aforule.cfm