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Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Do I Need a Water Quality Permit?

If you are starting a new concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Texas, read this page to find out whether you need a water quality permit from the TCEQ.


If you are starting a new concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), you might be required to obtain a water quality permit.

If you are required to obtain a permit, you may want to determine if you qualify for coverage under General Permit TXG920000.

Discharges from the following CAFOs are not eligible for coverage under this general permit and must be authorized under an individual permit:

  • Except for an existing CAFO which was authorized by the Commission prior to January 10, 1997, any CAFO located within one mile of Coastal Natural Resource Areas as defined by the Texas Natural Resources CodeExit TCEQ, Chapter 33, Section 203.

  • Any dairy CAFO located in a major sole-source impairment zone.

  • Any CAFO where any part of the production area of the CAFO is located or proposed to be located within the protection zone of a sole-source surface drinking water supply.

  • Any CAFO where any part of a production area or land management unit is located in a watershed of a segment listed on the current EPA approved 303(d) list of impaired waters as required by 33 USC §1313(d) where a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation plan has been adopted by the Commission that established additional water quality protection measures for CAFOs which are not required by the CAFO general permit.

  • Any CAFO required by the executive director of the TCEQ to obtain and operate under an individual permit.

Discharges are not eligible for authorization under the general permit where prohibited by:

If this general permit does not apply, you may seek coverage under an individual permit.

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