Region 8

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

2012 Final CAFO Regulations

On July 30, 2012, EPA issued a final rule to amend its CAFO permit regulation to eliminate the requirement that CAFOs that propose to discharge must apply for a NPDES permit. The 2012 Rulemaking also removes the voluntary certification option for unpermitted CAFOs because removal of the "propose to discharge" requirement renders the certification option unnecssary.

Consolidated Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Regulations (38 pp, 452K) - This document consolidates the current federal CAFO regulatory requirements included in the 2012 CAFO Rule Revision to remove the 5th Circuit Court’s vacated elements, and the 2008 and 2003 Final CAFO Rules into a single document.

Information on the CAFO Rule including fact sheets, Q&A documents, and legislative history is available on EPA's CAFO Rule web site.

Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) are places where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. AFOs that meet the regulatory definition of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) may be regulated under EPA's National Point Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program. This program helps ensure that animal waste and wastewater are properly managed and do not enter water bodies from spills or breaks of waste storage structures and the non-agricultural application of manure to crop land.

There are approximately 1,000 CAFOs in Region 8. All Region 8 states - Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming - have been authorized to implement the NPDES program and issue permits to these CAFOs. EPA Region 8 issues NPDES permits to CAFOs in Indian country and for Federal facilities in Colorado.

An AFO is defined as a lot or facility where the following conditions are met:

  • Animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and
  • Crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility.

AFOs that meet the regulatory definition of a CAFO may be regulated under the NPDES permitting program.

How many animals constitute a Large, Medium or Small CAFO?

Big Feedlot EPA refers to the actual number of animals at an operation to determine if it is a CAFO. For example, 1000 or more cattle or cow/calf pairs is defined by EPA as a Large CAFO.

Click here for a summary table showing the exact number of various types of animals in EPA's defintion of Large, Medium, and Small CAFOs (PDF, 25K, about PDF files)

Who Needs A Permit in EPA Region 8 Indian Country?

Under the 2012 final CAFO rule, any CAFO that discharges is required to seek permit coverage.

Application forms for a CAFO permit

Permit and compliance information for permitted CAFOs will be available on EPA's Online Tracking Information System (OTIS).

Regional Contacts

EPA Region 8 CAFO NPDES Permits Program
Colleen Rathbone
EPA Region 8 (8P-W-WW)
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
EPA Region 8 CAFO NPDES Technical Enforcement Program
Seth Draper
EPA Region 8 (8ENF-W-NP)
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129

State Contacts in Region 8

Sean Scott
Environmental Agriculture Program
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
(303) 692-3520
Kari Smith
Water Protection Bureau
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
PO Box 200901
Helena, Montana 59620
(406) 444-1454
Karl Rockeman
North Dakota Department of Health
Water Quality Division
918 East Divide Ave.
4th Floor
Bismarck, ND 58501
(701) 328-5525
Kent Woodmansey
Surface Water Quality Program
Joe Foss Building
523 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
(605) 773-3351/4609
Don Hall
Division of Water Quality
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 144870
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870
(801) 536-4992
Brian Lovett
Water Quality Division
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
Herschler Building, 4th Floor West
122 W. 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-7347