CAFO Permit

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Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)


Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) is an Animal Feed Operation that is any Large CAFO (based on number of animals) whether permitted or not, certain Medium AFOs that require a permit, or certain Small AFOs that required a permit.

CAFOs that discharge, or propose to discharge (will discharge during a storm event) are required to obtain a CAFO permit. If there is no possibility of discharge, regardless of the storm event size, then a permit is not required.

Definition of Large CAFO
1000+ beef, heifers, or calves
700+ cows (milking or dry)
125,000+ layers
55,000+ turkeys
2,500+ swine (>55 pounds)
10,000+ swine (<55 pounds)
10,000+ sheep
500+ horses

Requires CAFO permit


Inspections and Enforcement

Agricultural Stormwater Exemption

Certified Planners for Utah

A Utah Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (UPDES) CAFO permit will be issued by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ). The permit identifies the requirements a permitted facility must follow and reflects federal requirements in the CAFO rule.

Permitted facilities have enforcement protection from discharge to waters of the state as long as the permit is followed. Some facilities not requiring a permit may choose to obtain a permit for enforcement protection. DWQ recommends that those not required to obtain the CAFO permit, but chose to, should review the requirements to ensure the producer is able and willing to meet the permit requirements.

How to Obtain a CAFO Permit

  • Submit a notice of intent (NOI), a permit fee, and a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) approved by a certified planner to the Division of Water Quality (DWQ)
  • DWQ will review the NMP
  • NMP will be public-notice on the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) website for 30 days. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the NMP
  • Once a permit is issued to a facility, portions of the NMP become permit requirements that must be followed to comply with the permit
  • The permit provides coverage for five years

 To Apply Contact:

Don Hall
Utah Division of Water Quality

Additional Information for CAFOs:

AFO/CAFO Regulations BrochureUtah State University Extension

Description: Quick information for Utah AFO/CAFO Regulations

A Brief History and Background Rule of the EPA CAFO Rule - John Sweeten, Texas A&M University; Ron Miner, Oregon State University; Carrie Tengman, National Pork Board

Description: History of EPA regulations and standards on CAFO operations since the 1970's.

CAFO Requirements for Dairy Barnyards - Peter Wright, Cornell University

Description: Provides information on the best way to implement a Nutrient Management Plan that provides treatment and control for runoff from the barnyard.

CAFO Requirements for the Beef Production Area - Brent Auvermann, Texas A&M University

Description: Summarizes the Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELG) for new and existing Beef CAFOs.

CAFO Requirements for Large Swine Operations - Don Jones, Purdue University; Glenn Carpenter, USDA-NRCS; Karl VanDevender, University of Arkansas; Peter Wright, Cornell University

Description: Focuses on federal requirements for CAFO swine producers

CAFO Requirements for the Poultry Production Area Karl VanDevender, University of Arkansas; Glenn Carpenter, USDA-NRCS;  Don Jones, Purdue University; Peter Wright, Cornell University

Description: Summarizes federal requirements for poultry operations as well as the new and existing Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELG) provisions for poultry operations.