New manure pollution rule affects 15,500 farms - EPA
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday unveiled new anti-pollution rules that will require about 15,500 of the nation\'s largest livestock farms to curb manure runoff into streams and waterways.
The new regulations mean so-called \"factory farms\" must apply for water runoff permits by 2006, develop plans to handle manure and wastewater, and file annual reports with the government, the EPA said.
\"It will help reduce what has been a growing problem - the fact that animal waste generated by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations poses an increasing threat to the health of America\'s waters,\" EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman said in a statement.
State governments will determine the types of permits to be issued to factory farms. The states will also have \"substantial flexibility\" and can authorize alternative performance standards for large livestock farms, the EPA said.
The EPA was forced to issue the new anti-pollution rule by a federal court order as part of a lawsuit filed by an environmental group more than a decade ago.
REUTERS NEWS PICTURE SERVICE
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