The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on July 13 that it would be withdrawing a proposed rule requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to provide detailed location information and farm demographics for virtually every family farm engaged in the production of commercial poultry and egg products in the United States.  The 2011 proposed rule was in response to a settlement agreement reached with environmental petitioners in 2010, which required EPA to take final action by July 13, 2012.

In announcing the final action, EPA pointed out that, although collecting CAFO information is important, the agency believes an efficient approach that does not duplicate efforts is the appropriate next step. EPA will collect CAFO information using existing sources of information, including state National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) programs, and other programs at the federal, state, and local level to help ensure CAFOs are implementing practices that protect water quality.

 The poultry industry appreciates that EPA heard the concerns voiced by industry during the comment period and accepted the recommendation to collect this information from existing sources. Comments submitted by the poultry industry on the proposed EPA information collection rule can be viewed here.