Washington state dairy farms may soon be required to have Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permits. A CAFO is a facility that confines animals for 45 days or more during any 12 month period in an area that doesn’t contain crops and that has or had a discharge. Manure from these types of facilities that contain animals such as cows, horses and chickens can pose a threat to water quality. The motive behind the proposed rewrite is to prevent manure-tainted water from entering streams from feedlots or concentrated animal feeding operations. The state’s Department of Ecology (DOE) is basing this decision on studies that concluded that unlined lagoons leak pollution into groundwater. Other contributing factors of the potential to pollute found in the study found in a 2009 NRCS report include the distance between the lagoon bottom and aquifiers, the depth of the lagoon and soil types. In Washington state a general permit is administered in an effort to protect water from manure discharge pollution. The permit is combined with the National Pollutant Discharge Eliminations System (NPDES) and State Waste Discharge permit. Lagoon liners could mean cleaner groundwater and compliance with the new ruling.
Lagoon Liners For Dairy Farms in WA State Could Mean Cleaner Groundwater
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