What Are Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations? When Must One Have a Permit?
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.
The type and number of animals on site determine how an AFO is categorized under the rules:
- Large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)
- Medium CAFO
- Small CAFO
- Other Other Animal Feeding Operations
Large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)
An AFO with the following number of animals is designated as a large CAFO and is required to obtain a permit:
|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)|
|10,000||sheep or lambs|
|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)|
An AFO with the following number of animals that is located in the Dairy Outreach Program Area (Erath, Bosque, Hamilton, Comanche, Wood, Rains, and Hopkins Counties) is a medium CAFO:
|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)|
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. If you do not qualify for the general permit, then you must obtain an individual permit.
Other Animal Feeding Operations
AFOs not defined or designated as CAFOs are authorized by the permit by rule found in 30 TAC Chapter 321.47. 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 Board (TSSWCB) or the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).
All CAFOs must obtain written authorization from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Some CAFOs will qualify for general permits (HTML) while others will be required to obtain individual permits (HTML).