As part of its authority under the Federal Clean Water Act, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has developed a general permit that will provide National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) protection to Medium Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO).
CAFOS are point sources subject to the NPDES permitting program. A permit is required for any CAFO that discharges pollutants to waters of the state of Vermont. Under this general permit, medium farms, as defined in the permit, that discharge to waters of the state and meet the requirements of the permit will be covered. Small or large farms that discharge may also be required to obtain a CAFO permit, and would be covered individually.
The discharge of manure, litter, or process wastewater (e.g., silage leachate, milk house wastewater) from the production area into waters of the State is prohibited, except as provided below:
a. Whenever precipitation causes an overflow of manure, litter, or process wastewater, pollutants in the overflow may be discharged into waters of the State provided:
i. The production area is properly designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to contain all manure, litter and process wastewater including the runoff and the direct precipitation from a 25-year, 24-hour storm event for the location; and
ii. The design storage volume is adequate to contain all manure, litter and process wastewater accumulated during the storage period, and
b. The permittee is in compliance with all the conditions in this general permit.
The permittee shall ensure that its discharges are controlled as necessary to meet applicable water quality standards. The discharges referred to in this section of the general permit are those discharges that may occur despite compliance with all of the terms and conditions of this permit. This section of the general permit is not in any way intended to authorize any discharge that results from noncompliance with any term or condition of this permit.