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U.S. Regulation of Animal Feeding Operations: Developing a More Holistic Approach for Protecting Water Quality

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Agriculture may be the principal miscreant in frustrating the full use of waters for their designated uses in the United States. The production of livestock, with accompanying animal wastes, is one of the notable sources of pollutants. Federal and state regulations governing animal feeding operations are evaluated to discern deficiencies in the governmental responses to problems associated with animal waste. Overall, the evaluation shows a multitude of directives for confronting animal waste problems without incorporating scientific information on nutrients, soils, topography, rainfall, vegetation, management practices, and modeling programs. Livestock operations that are not meaningfully impairing water quality in a watershed do not need to be subjected to costly controls. Rather than adopting blanket regulatory proscriptions that entail numerous expenses for livestock operators and require a bevy of officials to oversee compliance, governments might adopt more specific regulations that apply to fewer producers.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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