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Home > Animals & Livestock > Livestock Siting & Planning > Feedlot Decision Making Tool > CAFO More Info

CAFO - More Information

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)

40 CFR 122.23 - Is any feeding operation with a capacity of 1,000 or more animal units according to federal animal unit calculations. The MPCA can also define a facility with less than 1,000 animal units as a CAFO on a case-by-case basis, depending on site conditions, and if manure or process wastewater is directly discharged to waters of the state. Facilities that are CAFOs must comply with both federal regulations and state rules. Two or more feedlots under common ownership are considered a single facility if they adjoin each other or use the same manure storage or disposal system. Feedlots that are considered CAFOs are required to obtain National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits from the MPCA. A general or an individual NPDES permit will be required.

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Exemptions from Permitting

Minn. Rules, Part 7020.0405 - If your feedlot falls into one of the following categories, you do not need to obtain a state permit:

  • feedlots located on county fairgrounds;
  • your feedlot is “open lot certified”;
  • if there has been a change of ownership of the feedlot and no modifications have been made (However, you must notify your RGU of the change in ownership. Forms are available online or by contacting your RGU); or
  • if you have a short-term manure stockpile or manure compost site using manure from other feedlots.

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New Technologies not Listed in Minn. Rules 7020.2000-7020.2225

Under most circumstances, the majority of facilities will use technologies that are prescribed in the 7020 feedlot rules. In some rare cases, a facility may not. For example, a feedlot that landfills all of it’s manure would require an SDS permit.

Therefore, most feedlots would answer NO to this question about new technologies.

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Recordkeeping (Minnesota Rules, Part 7020.2225 Subp. 5)

Recordkeeping is required:

  • for any person who applies or receives manure or process wastewater from a feedlot with a capacity of 100 or more animal units;
  • when you test poultry barn floors as a permit requirement;
  • for short-term and permanent stockpiling sites; or
  • for analysis results of manure composting for which NPDES or SDS permits are required.

The Feedlot Rules list what records need to be kept and what information is needed for recordkeeping, based on the size of the feedlot and where the manure will be applied.

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Permits Issued Before the Rules Were Revised (Minnesota Rules, Part 7020.0355)

If you have a SW-A permit, a certificate of compliance, or an expired interim A or B permit, you may need to update your registration information. You should contact your RGU to find out if your registration information is current. You must comply with all the revised permitting and technical requirements. An NPDES, SDS and unexpired interim permits remain in effect until the original date of expiration. After your permit expires, you may be required to apply for a permit under the current State Feedlot Rules. Contact your RGU for more information.

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Is my Feedlot Located in a Sensitive Area?

Sensitive areas (*The sensitive area designation is derived from the Environmental Review Rules (Minn. Rules, Chap. 4410), not from the Feedlot Rules (Minn. Rules Chap. 7020), for the development of the flow chart matrices for construction, expansion, and modification requirements.) are defined as: 1) shoreland areas; 2) delineated floodplains (along Red River only includes 1000 feet from bank); 3) federal, state, or local wild and scenic river districts; 4) areas within 1000 feet of a karst feature (sinkhole, cave, disappearing spring, resurgent spring, karst window, dry valley or blind valley); and, 5) vulnerable parts of a delineated drinking water supply management area.

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Shoreland is defined in Minnesota statutes (section 103F.205) to include:

  • Land within 1000 feet of the normal high watermark of lakes, ponds, or flowages;
  • Land within 300 feet of a river or stream; and
  • Designated floodplains.

Lakes, ponds, or flowages smaller than 25 acres in rural areas are not regulated under State shoreland rules (Minn. Rules Chap. 6120). However, some local ordinances may designate shoreland areas around public waters less than 25 acres. Check with your local zoning authority to determine whether a given water body is surrounded by a designated "shoreland" or floodplain.

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Where is the Construction or Expansion of a Feedlot Prohibited?

In some instances, State rules will prohibit the construction or expansion of feedlots in certain areas. Feedlots located in shoreland areas or near wells may have restrictions put upon them.

For more information, see the MPCA document entitled, "Feedlot Construction Setbacks from Open Waters and Wells": (PDF: 405 KB / 7 pages).