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Petition No. 2004-18

LCB File No. R079-04

Date Received by Commission: 5/14/04

Summary: This regulation makes limited changes to the state's definition of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) as defined at NAC 445A.228. These changes revise several of the animal containment facility categories and the threshold number of animals present to require a discharge permit. This regulation will provide for consistency between the NAC and the federal CAFO regulations, as required to maintain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit authority per NAC 445A.268:

Current Status: Filed 09/08/04

Nevada Administrative Code: NAC 445A.228

Petitioner: NDEP - Bureau of Water Pollution Control

Description of Petition: This regulatory petition proposes changes to the discharge permits and general permitting provisions of NAC 445A - Water Controls. The regulation amendments focus exclusively on defining and permitting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO). The regulations will revise the list of production facilities that are defined as potential CAFOs as well as adjust the animal threshold numbers at a facility to be defined as a CAFO. The regulations will also improve consistency between the State and federal CAFO definitions, eliminate the mixed animal calculation, require a designated CAFO to apply for a discharge permit within ninety days of designation, and create a $700 CAFO general permit application and annual fee.

This regulatory petition will amend the Nevada Administrative Code to conform with revisions to the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations. In 1975, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) approved the State NPDES permit program and delegated NDEP's permitting authority to the State. To maintain this delegation, the State must adopt regulations that are at least as stringent as the federal regulations. On February 12, 2003, the US EPA promulgated a revised NPDES permit regulation and effluent limitation guidelines and standards for CAFOs. This regulatory petition will raise the Nevada NPDES program to the minimum standards to maintain delegation.

The regulations are not expected to increase the number of facilities requiring CAFO permits. The Division has not identified any newly defined production facilities, (e.g. immature swine, lambs, ducks, or chickens) that are large enough to be classified as CAFOs under the proposed regulations. There are no CAFOs permitted under the mixed animal calculation, therefore, the number of permits will not change as a result of the elimination of this calculation. The Division has the authority to require a permit of any agricultural or silvicultural activity that has been identified as a significant contributor of pollution. The proposed regulations will establish a ninety-day deadline from the date of notification for a designated facility to apply for a permit. Although higher than the current general permit fee, the proposed $700 application and annual CAFO general permit fees are lower than the permit fees for an individual CAFO permit.

The proposed regulation will not have any negative economic impacts, either immediate or long term, on the regulated industry. There will be no additional costs to the agency for enforcement of this regulation. The majority of the Bureau of Water Pollution Control operating budget is funded through permit fees. Due to the small number of CAFOs in the State, a higher CAFO general permit fee will be required to fund the implementation of a CAFO general permit program. The regulation does not overlap or duplicate any regulations of other state or government agencies and the amended regulations are no more stringent than what is established by federal law.

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