One extension applies to water permit application deadlines for facilities that EPA defined as CAFOs for the first time in 2003. The other extension applies to certain CAFOs that have to develop and implement nutrient management plans (NMPs). A NMP is a plan that specifies the amount of manure that can be applied to crops so the potential for nutrient runoff to water bodies is minimized.
EPA has been regulating CAFOs for more than 25 years. In 2006, EPA proposed revisions to the CAFO rule which, when finalized, would continue to require the proper management of manure. The 2006 proposal, in response to a 2005 court ruling, would revise the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting requirements and Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for CAFOs.
The proposed extensions announced today are necessary to allow EPA to respond adequately to an array of public comments on issues raised in the court decision. The extensions will also provide time for the agricultural community to adjust to the new requirements once they are finalized. Additionally, EPA is encouraging states and its regional offices to continue to implement their existing regulatory programs in preparation for the final rule.
EPA is proposing to extend the dates for newly-defined CAFOs to seek permit coverage and for permitted CAFOs to develop and implement NMPs from July 31, 2007 to Feb. 27, 2009.
The proposal will be published soon in the Federal Register and will be open for public comment for 30 days.