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Release Date: 7/23/2001
Contact Information: EPA, Mike Ardito, 415/744-2328, ADEQ, Kurt Maurer, 602/207-4500

     SAN FRANCISCO B The U.S Environmental Protection Agency today issued a general water pollution discharge permit that will require Arizona=s largest animal feeding operations to prevent the discharge of manure and other pollutants into Arizona=s rivers, lakes and washes.

     The permit, which updates a 1984 permit, is consistent with a federal government initiative to manage waste discharges from large animal feeding operations across the country.

     "This effort helps ensure Arizona animal feedlots help us protect water quality in Arizona," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA=s water division director for the Pacific Southwest office.    

     "Most Arizona producers are good stewards of our state's water resources, and already operate in compliance with many of the conditions of this new general permit. ADEQ and EPA look forward to ensuring training and technical assistance are available to help our producers comply fully with this new permit," said Karen Smith, the water quality director for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.    

     The EPA believes the permit will apply to approximately 100 of Arizona=s nearly 180 animal feeding operations, most of which are dairies with 700 or more milking cows located in Maricopa, Pinal and Yuma counties.      

     The permit, effective Aug. 27, will prohibit direct discharges of stored manure and waste into waterways -- the only exception being in the event of a major storm that would cause an overflow of the storage structure.

     If farmers apply manure to their crop lands, they must develop a manure management plan that includes comprehensive records of how much manure is produced and how it is disposed of.  The permit also includes discharge monitoring and notification requirements.

     Violations of the permit can result in a maximum administrative penalty of $11,000 per day per violation.  
     Today=s permit was issued under the EPA=s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program, which regulates the discharge of pollutants from Apoint sources@ to waters of the United States.  Federal law defines the largest animal feeding operations as point sources required to be covered by discharge permits.  Typically, the EPA issues these permits for point sources such as manufacturing facilities, municipal wastewater treatment plants, and urban and industrial stormwater runoff.

The permit and additional information may be found on the Region 9 Web site at .

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