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CAFO

Existing CAFO: Obtaining Coverage Under General Permit TXG920000

Steps to qualify and apply to renew an existing CAFO, request a change of ownership, or terminate coverage under this water quality general permit.

Existing CAFO – Renewal

To renew the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) General Permit, follow these steps:

  1. Read general permit TXG920000Adobe Acrobat PDF Document to make sure it applies to your situation.

  2. Prepare a Pollution Prevention Plan. See Part III of the permit.

  3. You may schedule a pre-application conference with TCEQ permitting staff. They will discuss your proposal, and help you determine the type of authorization you need and what information you need to provide.
  4. Submit to the TCEQ:
  • a Notice of intentAdobe Acrobat PDF Document (NOI) Form TCEQ – 20111 without the technical report
  • Application fee and payment submittal form (included on the NOI)

Provisional authorization under this general permit begins 48 hours after your completed NOI is postmarked for delivery to us.

TCEQ staff will review your application and notify you if your coverage is denied, or mail you a confirmation if your coverage is approved.

Existing CAFO – Change in Ownership (Notice of Termination and Notice of Intent (NOI)

PREVIOUS OWNER? Submit to the TCEQ: a Notice of Termination Microsoft Word Document(TCEQ-20343).

NEW OWNER? Submit to the TCEQ:

  • a Notice of Intent (NOI)Adobe Acrobat PDF Document application (TCEQ-20111) without the technical report
  • Application fee and payment submittal form (included on the (NOI)Adobe Acrobat PDF Document)
  • One original and one copy of the application (to the Water Quality Application Review and Processing Team at the address on the NOI application)
  • One copy of the application (to the TCEQ regional office[25] in the region where the facility is built)

After the Application Has Been Submitted

TCEQ staff will review your application and if your coverage is denied, we will notify you. If coverage is approved, we will send you a confirmation that assigns you an authorization number.

If you have questions, please see our Contact Page or e-mail us at CAFO@tceq.texas.gov.

Expanded CAFO: Obtaining Coverage Under General Permit TXG920000

How to apply for coverage for a significantly expanded CAFO under Texas water quality General Permit TXG920000.

Before you begin to apply for coverage under this general permit, be sure that you qualify for it.

To obtain coverage under the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) General Permit, follow these steps:

    1. Read general permit TXG920000Adobe Acrobat PDF Document to make sure it applies to your situation. (Help with PDF.)

    2. Prepare a Pollution Prevention Plan. For more details, see Part III of the general permit (TXG920000).

    3. Consider scheduling a pre-application conference with TCEQ permitting staff. They will be available to discuss your proposal and help you determine what type of authorization you need as well as what information should go into an application package.

    4. Submit a notification package, which includes:

Our staff will review the NOI when we receive it. If we find that your application is complete, we will send you a public notice.

  1. You must have this notice published in the local newspaper. By the date this notice is published, you must also put a copy of the application, the technical summary, General Permit TXG920000Adobe Acrobat PDF Document, and the Executive Director's Preliminary Decision in a public building for viewing—for example, in the county courthouse, county extension agent's office, or a public library. This begins a public comment period that lasts 30 days.

  2. During the public comment period, the general public may submit comments to the Office of the Chief Clerk. If a public meeting is required, the TCEQ will post a notice at least 30 days in advance on the TCEQ’s Notice Web Page.

  3. After considering the public comments received, our executive director will approve or deny the NOI based on whether the NOI and technical application meet the requirements of this general permit. If your coverage under this general permit is approved, we will send you a confirmation.

If you have questions, please see our Contact Page or e-mail us at CAFO@tceq.texas.gov.

Contacting the Wastewater Programs

E-mail, phone numbers, mailing address, and ways to contact programs dealing with wastewater and stormwater permitting.

If you have questions about domestic, industrial, or municipal wastewater permits, or sludge and CAFO authorizations, you may contact us at:

Phone: 512-239-4671

Mailing Address:
Water Quality Division MC-148
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas 78711-3087

New CAFO: Obtaining Coverage Under General Permit TXG920000

Steps to qualify and apply for coverage for a new CAFO under this water quality general permit.

Before you begin to apply for coverage under this general permit, be sure that you qualify for it.

To obtain coverage under the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) General Permit, follow these steps:

    1. Read general permit TXG920000Adobe Acrobat PDF Document to make sure it applies to your situation. (Help with PDF.)

    2. Prepare a Pollution Prevention Plan. For more details, see Part III of the general permit (TXG920000).

    3. Consider scheduling a pre-application conference with TCEQ permitting staff. They will be available to discuss your proposal and help you determine what type of authorization you need as well as what information should go into an application package.

    4. Submit a notification package, which includes:

Our staff will review the NOI when we receive it. If we find that your application is complete, we will send you a public notice.

  1. You must have this notice published in the local newspaper. By the date this notice is published, you must also put a copy of the application, the technical summary, General Permit TXG920000Adobe Acrobat PDF Document, and the Executive Director's Preliminary Decision in a public building for viewing—for example, in the county courthouse, county extension agent's office, or a public library. This begins a public comment period that lasts 30 days—perhaps longer if a public meeting is requested.

  2. During the public comment period, the general public may submit comments to the Office of the Chief Clerk or request a public meeting. If a public meeting is required, then you must publish notice the meeting at least 30 days before it is held.

  3. After considering the public comments received, our executive director will approve or deny the NOI based on whether the NOI and technical application meet the requirements of this general permit. If your coverage under this general permit is approved, we will send you a confirmation that assigns your authorization number. You must not begin to build or operate your CAFO before you have received this written authorization. If your coverage is denied, we will notify you.

If you have questions, please see our Contact Page or e-mail us at CAFO@tceq.texas.gov.

Water Quality Individual Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Information on obtaining an individual permit for the operation of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Texas. Links to permit application.

If none of the following statements are true, you must obtain coverage under the CAFO  general permit.

  • Your CAFO is within one mile of coastal natural resource areas.
  • Your CAFO is a dairy CAFO and in Segment 1226 or 1255 of the Bosque River watershed (which are a major sole-source impairment zone).
  • Your CAFO is, or will be, in the protection zone of a sole-source surface drinking water supplyAdobe Acrobat PDF Document.
  • Your CAFO is in an impaired watershed where the total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan requires water quality protection measures more stringent than those required by this general permit.
  • Your CAFO is required by our executive director to obtain and operate under an individual permit.
  • Your CAFO has a compliance history rating of “poor.” (See About Compliance Histories.)

Include these items in your application package:

  • the Individual Permit Application for a CAFO form TCEQ-00728Adobe Acrobat PDF Document The application includes instructions. (Help with PDF.)

  • a completed technical information packet, including technical information on the manure and wastewater management system that you will use (form TCEQ-00760Adobe Acrobat PDF Document)

  • a Core Data Form (PDFAdobe Acrobat PDF Document) (WordAdobe Acrobat PDF Document), if you have not completed one already (Instructions)Adobe Acrobat PDF Document. You can find more information on the TCEQ Central Registry Core Data Form - Instructions and Guidance web page.

Submit one original and one copy of the application package to the Water Quality Applications Team at the address on the application.

Submit one copy of the application package to the TCEQ regional office in the region where the facility is to be built.

After the Application Has Been Submitted

After the application is declared administratively complete, publish, in a local newspaper, a notice of your intent to obtain a water quality permit. You may need to translate the Notice of Receipt and Intent to Obtain a Permit into Spanish. (Spanish language templates).

After the application is declared technically complete, and if the TCEQ executive director is considering approving the permit:

  • Publish a second notice indicating the preliminary decision to issue the permit.

  • Provide a complete copy of the application package and all correspondence for inspection by the public at your place of business and at a public place located within the county.

Public meetings and hearings may also be required.

For more information on the requirements for CAFOs please refer to Title 30, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 321, Subchapter BExit the TCEQ (HTML).

If you have questions, please see our Contact Page or e-mail us at CAFO@tceq.texas.gov.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Water Quality General Permit

Requirements and options for the treatment and discharge of process water, storm water, or both from operations that qualify for coverage under General Permit TXG920000.

If any of the following statements are true you must obtain coverage under an individual permit:

  • Your CAFO is within one mile of coastal natural resource areas.
  • Your CAFO is a dairy CAFO and in Segment 1226 or 1255 of the Bosque River watershed (which are a major sole-source impairment zone).
  • Your CAFO is, or will be, in the protection zone of a sole-source surface drinking water supply Adobe Acrobat PDF Document.
  • Your CAFO is in an impaired watershed where the total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan requires water quality protection measures more stringent than those required by this general permit.
  • Your CAFO is required by our executive director to obtain and operate under an individual permit.
  • Your CAFO has a compliance history rating of “poor.” (See About Compliance Histories.)

If your CAFO qualifies for coverage under this general permit, the steps to follow depend on the status of your facility.

New, Renewing or Expanding?

  • New – a proposed CAFO facility that has not been constructed or an animal feeding operation (AFO) that expands to become a CAFO applying for coverage under the general permit
  • Renewing CAFO – an existing facility previously authorized under an individual permit, or the CAFO general permit, and applying for coverage under the general permit
  • Substantial Change – an existing facility currently authorized under the general permit, proposing to apply for a substantial change to the terms of the nutrient management plan of a large concentrated animal feeding operation under Texas water quality General Permit TXG920000.
  • Significant Expansion – an existing facility currently authorized under the general permit, proposing to increase waste production by more than 50 percent above the maximum operating capacity stated in the notice of intent during the term of the general permit

Getting A Permit

New CAFO: Obtaining Coverage Under General Permit TXG920000
Steps to qualify and apply for coverage for a new CAFO under this water quality general permit.

Existing CAFO: Obtaining Coverage Under General Permit TXG920000
Steps to qualify and apply for renewal of an existing CAFO under this water quality general permit.

Substantial Change to a CAFO: Obtaining Coverage Under General Permit TXG920000
How to apply for coverage for a Substantial Change on a CAFO under Texas water quality General Permit TXG920000.

Expanded CAFO: Obtaining Coverage Under General Permit TXG920000
How to apply for coverage for a significantly expanded CAFO under Texas water quality General Permit TXG920000.

Water Quality General Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Do I Qualify?
CAFO definitions, coverage limitations, authorization process for CAFO general permits.

Applying for a Substantial Change to the Terms of the Nutrient Management Plan of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

How to apply for a substantial change to the terms of the nutrient management plan of a large concentrated animal feeding operation under Texas water quality General Permit TXG920000.

What Constitutes a Substantial Change?

NOTE: These changes are not applicable to State-only CAFOs.

  • Changing animal type or increasing authorized head count that increases the manure production at the CAFO by 50% or less of the maximum operating capacity stated in the initial authorization for the facility under TXG920000;
  • Adding land management units or increasing application acreage; and
  • Using a crop or yield goal to determine maximum application rates for manure or wastewater not included in the CAFO’s authorization.

How to Apply

To obtain coverage under this general permit, follow these steps:

  1. Read general permit TXG920000 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document to make sure it applies to your situation.
  2. Prepare a Pollution Prevention Plan. For more details, see Part III of the general permit (TXG920000).
  3. Submit a notice of change application package which includes:
  • Notice of Change (NOC) Form TCEQ 20511 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
  • The updated Nutrient Management Plan (NMP), based on the CAFO’s current soil, effluent and manure analyses
  • Supporting documents

The Public Comment Period

  1. Our staff will review the NOC, and if your application is technically complete, we will draft and post a public notice on the TCEQ website. This begins a public comment period of 30 days.
  2. We will provide copies of all your application package materials to be available in the TCEQ’s Office of the Chief Clerk in Austin and the TCEQ Regional Office where the CAFO is located. We will also include a technical summary and the Executive Director's Preliminary Decision, and the General Permit TXG920000 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
  3. During the 30 day period, the public may submit comments to the Office of the Chief Clerk or request a public meeting. If a public meeting is required, the TCEQ will post a notice at least 30 days in advance on the TCEQ’s Notice Web page

The Executive Director’s Review

  • The Executive Director, after considering public comment, will incorporate the revised terms of the NMP into the permit and the permit record and notify the permittee and the public of the revised terms and conditions.
  • If the revised NMP and technical information meet the requirements of the general permit and the Executive Director approves the request for changes, we will send you a confirmation. If your coverage is denied, we will notify you.

If you have questions, please see our Contact Page or e-mail us at CAFO@tceq.texas.gov

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Non-substantial Change – Notices

All permittees proposing changes to the terms of their nutrient management plan must submit a notice of change form (TCEQ form 20511). If the TCEQ determines that the changes are non-substantial, we will post the revised terms after the permit is issued.

Non-substantial Change Notices

Notices for non-substantial changes to a CAFO general permit can be found below with the most recent at the top.

Do I Qualify as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation?

CAFO definitions, coverage limitations, authorization process for CAFO general permits.

What is a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation?

An animal feeding operation (AFO) is a lot or facility, other than an aquatic animal production facility, where animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and in which the animal confinement areas do not sustain crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility.

When Do I Need a Permit?

The type and number of animals on site determine how an AFO is categorized under the rules:

Large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)

An AFO with the number of animals in the following table, is considered a large CAFO and must obtain written authorization from the TCEQ.

Head Animal Type
1,000 veal calves and cattle other than mature dairy cattle
700 mature dairy cattle
2,500 swine weighing over 55 pounds
10,000 swine weighing less than 55 pounds
5,000 ducks (liquid manure handling system)
30,000 ducks (not using liquid manure handling system)
500 horses
10,000 sheep or lambs
55,000 turkeys
82,000 laying hens or broilers (not using liquid manure handling system)
30,000 laying hens or broilers (liquid manure handling system)
125,000 chickens (other than laying hens, if not using liquid waste handling system)

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Medium CAFO

An AFO located in the Dairy Outreach Program Area (Erath, Bosque, Hamilton, Comanche, Wood, Rains, and Hopkins Counties) with the number of animals in the following table is considered a medium CAFO. All medium CAFOs in these counties must obtain written authorization from the TCEQ.

Head Animal Type
300 to 999 veal calves and cattle other than mature dairy cattle
200 to 699 mature dairy cattle
3,000 to 9,999 swine weighing less than 55 pounds
750 to 2,499 swine weighing over 55 pounds
10,000 to 29,999 ducks (not using liquid manure handling system)
1,500 to 4,999 ducks (liquid manure handling system)
150 to 499 horses
3,000 to 9,999 sheep or lambs
16,500 to 54,999 turkeys
25,000 to 81,999 laying hens or broilers (not using liquid manure handling system)
9,000 to 29,999 laying hens or broilers (liquid manure handling system)
37,500 to 124,999 chickens (other than laying hens, if not using liquid waste handling system)

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Small CAFO

Any AFO may be designated a small CAFO by the executive director because it is a significant contributor of pollutants into or adjacent to water in the state. Any AFO that is designated a small CAFO must obtain written authorization from the TCEQ.

Other Animal Feeding Operations

AFOs not defined or designated as CAFOs are authorized by the permit by rule found in 30 TAC Chapter 321.47Exit the TCEQ. If you are an AFO but not a CAFO, you must submit a notification form and comply with the permit by rule. If you need technical assistance with your AFO, contact the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation BoardExit the TCEQ (TSSWCB) or the USDA Natural Resource Conservation ServiceExit the TCEQ (NRCS).

Types of CAFO Water Quality Permits

If your CAFOs must obtain written authorization from the TCEQ you may qualify for a general permit (HTML) or you may need to obtain an individual permit (HTML).

If you have questions, please see our Contact Page or e-mail us at CAFO@tceq.texas.gov.

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