Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) [Updated September 21, 2006] [open pdf - 118KB]
From the Summary: "According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the release of waste from animal feedlots to surface water, groundwater, soil, and air is associated with a range of human health and ecological impacts and contributes to degradation of the nation's surface waters. The most dramatic ecological impacts are massive fish kills. A variety of pollutants in animal waste can affect human health, including causing infections of the skin, eye, ear, nose, and throat. Contaminants from manure can also affect human health by polluting drinking water sources. […] This report describes the revised environmental rules, the background of previous Clean Water Act rules and the Clinton Administration proposal, and perspectives of key interest groups on the proposal and final regulations. It also identifies several issues likely to be of congressional interest as implementation of the revised rules proceeds. Issues include adequacy of funding for implementing the rules, research needs, oversight of implementation of the rules, and possible need for legislation. The report is intended to provide background and will not be updated. The revised CAFO rules were challenged by multiple parties, and in February 2005, a federal court issued a ruling that upheld major parts of the rules, vacated other parts, and remanded still other parts to EPA for clarification. In June 2006, EPA proposed revisions to the rules in response to the 2005 court decision; for information, see CRS Report RL33656, 'Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA's Response to the 'Waterkeeper Alliance' Court Decision on Regulation of CAFOs.'"
CRS Report for Congress, RL31851