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Animal waste is a growing issue in the environmental field. Legislation is being proposed (see U.S. Congressman George Miller's web page - to keep animal waste runoff from thousands of large farms and dairies in California and other states from polluting rivers, streams, and groundwater.
Large livestock farms and dairies have long been subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. However, enforcement at both the state and federal levels has been extremely lax, and the 20-year-old standards do not match current conditions in the modern livestock industry now dominated by "factory farms" often holding tens of thousands of animals. Only a few of these facilities have Clean Water Act discharge permits, and even fewer have been inspected or are monitored to ensure that they are not polluting. In addition, outdated regulations ignore the cumulative impact of
many of these large operations concentrating in certain areas, such as California's San Joaquin Valley where some 1,600 dairies have operated virtually without oversight for years.
"The fact is, farm animals annually produce 130 times more waste than human beings, but the disposal of that animal waste goes virtually unregulated," Miller said. "It is vital that EPA and the states have the authority to stop this unregulated and dangerous
contamination to protect public health and the environmental health of our rivers and streams, with their important fisheries," he added. "Manufacturers, cities and towns have spent billions cleaning up water pollution. My bill is a balanced and necessary effort to protect the public from the serious and largely unregulated water pollution threat posed by animal waste."
Loads of North Carolina documents
University of Georgia's Animal Waste Awareness in Research and Extension (AWARE)
Alabama - Animal Waste Guidance Documents - many to download free.
For more information or technical assistance, call 770-645-0788