Frequently Asked Questions
The process of attaining a CAFO Permit entails the following steps:
- Contact us.
The permitting process involves multiple regulatory programs. You will need a permit from each regulatory program, including a WYPDES Discharge Permit, a Water and Wastewater Permit to Construct, and potentially an Air Quality Permit.
You will likely need to meet with members of our team to review your plans, which usually results in a smoother, less expensive design and permitting process. See the bottom of this page for more contact information.
Water and Wastewater Permit to Construct
WYPDES Discharge Permit
- Hire an engineer.
An engineer will help develop your wastewater, waste, and nutrient management plans and design the structures required by your permit. Financial assistance for this step may be available through the USDA Rural Development Program.
- Complete paperwork.
You will need to complete several forms and applications to apply for permits from the three regulatory programs with oversight for CAFO.
Some of these documents require you to submit them along with fees. Additional applications may be required for wastewater runoff and retention systems and/or for swine confinement facilities.
A permit is required when more than 1,000 head of cattle or an equivalent weight of livestock are confined for more than 45 days, or the facility negatively impacts the waters of the state.
Equivalent livestock weights are listed in Appendix G of state rules Chapter 2.
If you think you need a permit for your Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, you should gather some information before you contact us.
- Do you have cropland that can be used to dispose of wastewater?
- Is your groundwater deeper than 20 feet?
- Do the water wells in your area draw from a deep aquifer?
- Does your soil have a slow “perc” rate? (caused by soil with clay or silt in it)
- Is the groundwater in your area unsuitable for potable use?
- Will you be able to grow grass or similar vegetation inside the area of the containment pond when it is dry?
If your site meets most of the criteria listed above, you may qualify to contain your wastewater runoff in a “Temporary Retention Structure," which is generally cheaper and easier to build than a full retention structure. Even if your site does not meet the Temporary Retention Structure criteria, answers to these questions are needed in order to properly design your wastewater retention facility.
If you need assistance obtaining this information, your engineer should be able to help you.
For basic help assistance, the most important thing is to be as specific as possible. It is important that you supply all of the information to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) so we can assist you the best we can. The following information is required: Permit Number, Outfall, Time Frame, Specific Problem, and any background information you feel is necessary. If you are using XML files, please attach a copy of the XML file to the email when notifying the DEQ.
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If you have a question, you can ask us by using this form. You may optionally select a division that the question pertains to or submit it as a general question.