Socially Responsible Agriculture Project
Regulators in Nebraska are set to renew a Clean Water Act general permit governing the state’s concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). This permit regulates CAFOs’ effects on water quality—but it’s not strong enough.
The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) is holding a public hearing about the primary permit regulating concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Thursday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m. CT.
NDEE’s Lincoln Office at 245 Fallbrook Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68521. (Participants must register by 5:00 p.m. CT on September 28).
The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) is holding a public hearing about the state’s proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for industrial livestock operations. This is the primary permit regulating CAFOs’ effects on water quality— but it’s not strong enough to protect public and environmental health.
What’s wrong with the permit?
- Too narrow. The draft permit only applies to large cattle CAFOs when it should cover CAFOs of any size and species that discharge.
- Lacks accountability for waste transfers. Once a CAFO exports waste to another entity, NDEE doesn’t track it. Transparency and accountability are critical to protecting Nebraska’s waters.
- Fails to protect waterways and groundwater. Inadequate manure application protections, reporting requirements, and Nutrient Management Plan enforcement put public health and Nebraska’s waterways at risk.
Given the dangerous rate of groundwater depletion in Nebraska, safeguarding water resources is more important than ever. Strengthening the NPDES permit will better protect water quality by preventing pollution from industrial livestock operations.
SRAP urges Nebraska residents to weigh in on this critical issue. Learn more about the general permit and read SRAP’s public comments to NDEE.
For more than 20 years, SRAP has served as a mobilizing force to help communities protect themselves from the damages caused by industrial livestock operations and to advocate for a food system built on regenerative practices, justice, democracy, and resilience. Learn more at sraproject.org.