Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

What Does an NPDES CAFO Permit Require?    

NOTE: These pages contain general information on the types of requirements that are included in NPDES permits issued to CAFOs. You must read the specific requirements in the NPDES permit issued to your CAFO to know exactly what you must do to comply.

Monitoring and Reporting Requirements

NPDES permits for CAFOs include requirements for conducting inspections and other monitoring, keeping records of monitoring and other activities, and making annual reports to Ohio EPA.

OEPA Suggested Land Application Recordkeeping Form (Blank, English)

OEPA Suggested Land Application Recordkeeping Form

(Blank, English)

OEPA Suggested Land Application Recordkeeping Form (Blank, Spanish)

OEPA Suggested Land Application Recordkeeping Form

(Blank, Spanish)

OEPA Suggested Land Application Recordkeeping Form (Sample)

OEPA Suggested Land Application Recordkeeping Form

(Sample)


Monitoring and inspections

Monitoring requirements in NPDES CAFO permits include sampling and inspections. CAFO operators must take samples of the following:

  • Discharges from the production area, each time they occur
  • Discharges from storm water pond outlets, each time they occur
  • Manure to be land applied. Representative samples must be taken from each source, including lagoons, storage tanks, and stockpile areas, once a year
  • Soil in the manure land application areas, once every 3 years

CAFO operators must also conduct the following inspections:

  • Weekly inspections of all manure storage or treatment facilities, including channeling devices, for evidence of erosion, leakage, animal damage, or discharge, and monitoring of the operating level
  • Weekly inspections of storm water and runoff diversion structures
  • Daily inspections of drinking and cooling water lines
  • Inspections of land application equipment to comply with the manure management plan

Record keeping

NPDES permits require CAFO operators to keep specific records of certain activities and practices. These records help to show that the operation is complying with the requirements in the NPDES permit. The records must be kept on-site at the CAFO operation for at least 5 years.

  • The results of all discharge, manure, and soil sampling, including
    • The date, place, and time of sampling
    • The person who performed the sampling
    • The date and time the analysis was performed
    • The person who performed the analysis
    • The analytical techniques or methods used
    • Bench sheets, instrument readouts, computer disks, etc., used to determine the results
    • For discharge sampling, the records must include the cause, volume, and duration of the discharge, any corrective actions needed, and the dates the corrective actions were taken
  • The findings of manure storage facility inspections, including
    • The date and time
    • The manure level in each structure
    • Structural integrity and vegetation condition
    • Any corrective actions needed and the dates those actions were taken
  • The findings of storm water diversion device inspections, including
    • The date and time
    • Flow quantity and color
    • Structural integrity
    • Any corrective actions needed and the dates those actions were taken
  • The findings of water line inspections, including
    • The date and time
    • Number of leaks
  • Any corrective actions needed and the dates those actions were taken
  • How mortalities are managed to satisfy the performance standards
  • The current design of all manure storage structures, including:
    • Volume for solids accumulation
    • Design treatment volume
    • Total design volume
    • Approximate number of days of storage capacity
  • When manure is distributed or used on land not owned or operated by the permittee, records of when and how much manure was transferred and the name and address of each manure recipient.
  • When manure is applied to land at the CAFO, records of
    • Expected crop yields
    • Dates the manure was applied
    • Weather conditions during land application and for 24 hours before and after land application
    • The methods used to sample and analyze manure and soil
    • Calculations and records showing the basis for determining the application rates
    • Planned and actual amount of nitrogen and phosphorus applied to each field
    • Methods used to apply manure
    • The findings of land application equipment inspections, including a list of equipment,
      date(s) of inspection, corrective actions, and calibration dates
  • For any deficiencies not corrected within 30 days, an explanation of the factors preventing immediate correction

Download Ohio EPA NPDES record keeping forms [PDF 80K].

Annual reports

Every year permittees must report certain information to Ohio EPA, including

  • The number and type of animals confined
  • The amount of manure generated
  • The amount of manure removed from the facility or utilized
  • The number of acres available for land application covered by the manure management plan
  • Summary of the number of discharges from the production area, including date, time, and approximate volume
  • Any instances of noncompliance not already reported, including a description of the noncompliance and its cause, the dates and times or the anticipated times it is expected to continue, steps taken or planned to prevent reoccurrence of the noncompliance, and a statement indicating if the manure management plan was developed by a certified manure management planner

Download the Ohio EPA CAFO NPDES Permit Annual Report Guide.