Frequent Questions

What are animal feeding operations? Who can I contact about odors from nearby farms and other operations?

Animal feeding operations (AFOs)

According to the EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) page about Animal Feeding Operations:

“Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) are agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. An AFO is a lot or facility (other than an aquatic animal production facility) where the following conditions are met:

  • animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and
  • crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility.

AFOs that meet the regulatory definition of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) are regulated under the NPDES permitting program. The NPDES program regulates the discharge of pollutants from point sources [including CAFOs] to waters of the U.S."

Who can I contact about odors from nearby farms and other operations?

Odor issues from AFOs or CAFOs may be handled by your county health department, state health department, or state department of environmental protection. Please contact these departments or offices to report an odor issue.

You can locate your state environmental agencies, EPA Regional Offices, and learn more about the environmental conditions in your community:

You may also be interested in EPA’s National Agricultural Center.
See: EPA's National Agriculture Center regional contact page

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