The DOE's Sandy Howard say the new permits for the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations are intended to curb water pollution ...
SANDY HOWARD ... "After quite a long process of working with the agricultural industry and stakeholders, we were able to update our CAFO permit for Washington state. The permit, we believe, is more environmentally protective and it really contains a lot of specific practices so these animal feeding operations can better protect ground water, rivers, lakes, and marine waters from manure.
Howard says the update will push the number of CAFO permits from a handful statewide to an estimated 200 facilities ...
SANDY HOWARD ... "The permit actually applies to dairies probably in the biggest way. Dairies will have the biggest effect and we expect a lot more facilities to be covered. I think what's important to call out is that the smaller dairy operations will not need to get the permit unless there is some kind of strong pollution problem. So dairies with less than 200 head of cows, for example, will not be required to come under the permit."
One of the bigger changes will be when dairies are allowed to spread manure on crops to keep nitrates from seeping into groundwater.
Dairies will also have to assess the pollution risk caused by manure lagoons.