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Confined feeding is the raising of animals for food, fur or recreation in lots, pens, ponds, sheds or buildings, where they are confined, fed and maintained for at least 45 days during any year, and where there is no ground cover or vegetation present over at least half of the animals' confinement area. Livestock markets and sale barns are generally excluded.
In Indiana, an animal feeding operation with 300 or more cattle, 600 or more swine or sheep, 30,000 or more poultry, or 500 horses in confinement is a CFO. A person must request and receive IDEM approval before starting construction of a CFO, or starting expansion of a CFO to increase animal population or manure storage capacity.
The terms CFO and CAFO relate to the size of the CFO. A Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) is a CFO that meets the threshold animal numbers for a large CAFO in the chart below. Many of the program’s requirements apply to CFOs of all sizes. Some requirements apply only to CAFOs.
CAFO Threshold Numbers:
As of July 1, 2012, the Confined Feeding Program has two types of approvals:
CFOs in Indiana must have either a CFO Approval or a NPDES CAFO Individual Permit, but not both. A CFO or CAFO that does not discharge may elect to seek approval under a NPDES CAFO Individual Permit.
The animals raised in confined feeding operations produce manure and wastewater which is collected and stored in pits, tanks, lagoons and other storage devices. The manure is then applied to area fields as fertilizer. When stored and applied properly, this beneficial reuse provides a natural source of nutrients for crop production. It also lessens the need for fuel and other resources that are used in the production of commercial fertilizer.
Confined feeding operations, however, can also pose environmental concerns, including the following:
The IDEM CFO/CAFO approval/permit program is based on the Confined Feeding Control Law administered through regulations adopted under the Water Pollution Control Board. The focus of the regulations is to protect water quality. The program is intended to provide an oversight process to assure that waste storage structures are designed, constructed and maintained to be structurally sound and that manure is handled and land applied in an environmentally acceptable manner.
Confined Feeding Operation Fact: No one may start construction of a confined feeding operation or expansion without the prior approval of IDEM.
IDEM is responsible for reviewing approval applications for confined feeding operations. An application is needed for new confined feeding operations, expansions of existing confined feeding operations, and for existing animal feeding operations that must seek approval due to water quality violations.
For more detailed information pertaining to CFO Approval Requirements, please refer to the CFO Guidance Manual [PDF].
IDEM staff who are reviewing the applications will conduct an immediate completeness review. If deficiencies in the application are noted, a letter will be mailed within thirty (30) days. When the notice of application deficiencies are mailed, the review is placed on hold until the applicant provides the requested information.
Permit staff will also schedule a site visit to observe the proposed site and to inspect the existing operation if one exists. These visits are scheduled during the review period.
For more detailed information pertaining to the application review process and requirements, please refer to the CFO Guidance Manual [PDF].
IDEM will accept written public comments for 33 days following the date of the applicant mailing to the notified parties. During this period, any interested parties may submit written comments on the approval application.
IDEM evaluates comments as they relate to the application’s compliance with all applicable requirements. IDEM approves or denies the application based on fulfillment of the rule requirements. While environmental concerns may have an effect on an application, IDEM may not consider traffic, property values, or local zoning when considering an application.
For more detailed information pertaining to approvals and public participation, please refer to the CFO Guidance Manual [PDF].
There are approximately 625 CAFOs in the state. This represents 20 percent of the IDEM regulated farms.
IDEM estimates they produce 80 percent of the animals at regulated farms.
IDEM must perform the process that state law and regulations have provided. IDEMs approval does not relieve the farm from complying with any local zoning requirements.
CAFOs are not eligible for approval under 327 IAC 19-14-4(i), which is limited to small CFOs with 120 days or less storage, or through an alternate compliance approach under 327 IAC 19-5-1 because of the explicit prohibition under 327 IAC 19-14-4(e). If you feel that you need an approval to surface apply to frozen or snow-covered ground, your only option is to apply for a NPDES CAFO Individual Permit.
Please note that injection or incorporation of manure into the soil on the same day is not considered surface application and is not prohibited.
If you have an emergency that creates an immediate need to surface apply manure to frozen or snow-covered ground due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control, contact IDEM for assistance.
No, the public comment periods and notifications for all sized farms under the CFO rule require notification to neighbors within ½ mile and county officials but not newspaper notifications. Farms choosing NPDES Individual coverage will be required to do additional public notice in a newspaper for permit applications, modification requests, and changes to nutrient management plans, etc.