Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation General Permit

Permiso de Operación de Alimentación de Animales Confinados

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con Chelsea Morris al 360-407-6563.

We issue the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) General Permits to operations that confine livestock for long periods of time in pens or barns and discharge pollution to surface or groundwater. The permits require specific pollution prevention practices of facilities, such as collecting runoff and storing manure, land applying nutrients according to crop budgets, and adapting practices based on soil test results to protect water quality.

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Permit reissuance

We began the reissuance process with informal listening sessions in January 2021. In June 2021, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued their decision on the CAFO General Permit appeal. The court affirmed in part and reversed in part the October 2018 decision by the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB case no. P17-016c). The permits are remanded to Ecology for rewriting consistent with the court’s opinion. Because the court’s decision requires significant changes, we revised our reissuance schedule and will hold a second round of public listening sessions in Fall 2021.

The current permit expires on March 2, 2022. The permit reissuance process includes informal listening sessions, a formal public comment period on the draft permit, and formal public meetings and hearings. We plan to make a permit reissuance decision by the end of 2022.

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Timeline

Winter 2021: Informal Listening Sessions
June 2021: Court of Appeals decision issued
Fall 2021: Informal Listening Sessions
March 2022: Current permit expires
Late Spring 2022: Formal Public Comment period on the draft permit
End of 2022: Decision on permit reissuance

Coming up

We held our first listening sessions before the June 2021 Court of Appeals decision. We will hold two more virtual listening sessions in October 2021 focused on the court’s decision. We are also accepting written feedback via our online comment form.

Additional changes to the permit we are considering include:

  • Clarifying requirements for repairing liquid manure lagoons and composting solid materials
  • Requiring monitoring of surface water and groundwater
  • Revising public review process for nutrient management plans
  • Clarifying land application requirements on very high risk fields

Listening Sessions Schedule

These sessions are open to the public. Interpretation services in Spanish are available.

  • Morning Listening Session Webinar 
    Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 at 9 a.m. 
  • Evening Listening Session Webinar
    Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 at 5 p.m.

Submit comments online

Our online comment form will be open to capture your informal comments from Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 to Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. We will not create a formal response to verbal or written comments during our listening session comment period.

Who needs to apply

You must get this permit if ​you:

  • Confine livestock in pens or barns for 45 days or more during the year.
  • Discharge from your operation.

Current permit & related documents

Information for permit holders