What does the Ecology CAFO permit mean for you?

The Washington State Department of Ecology recently released the final version of the CAFO permits.

The main question we are getting from producers is this: “Am I required to get one of these permits?”

A CAFO is defined as having 200 or more mature dairy cows (milking or not). A Small CAFO is an operation that has fewer than 200 mature dairy cows and has been designated a significant contributor of pollutants to surface or groundwater by Ecology.

  • If you are a CAFO or Small CAFO and have a surface water discharge, you must apply for the combined permit.
  • If you are a CAFO or Small CAFO and have a groundwater discharge, you must apply for the state groundwater permit.
  • If you have neither a surface water discharge nor a groundwater discharge, permit application is not mandated.

The permit is effective March 4, 2017. Applications may be started at any time.

The Washington State Dairy Federation has analyzed Ecology’s work and developed a comparison of the two permits. This comparison document can be found here, and our letter to members can be found here.

We will also be hosting meetings for our members across the state to discuss the ramifications of the permits.

Producer meetings should last no longer than two hours. The producer meetings are as follows:

  • Feb. 13 11:30 a.m. Sunnyside Snipes Mountain Brewery Restaurant (Lunch provided)
  • Feb. 14 11:30 a.m. Enumclaw VFW Hall, 44426 244th Ave SE (Lunch provided)
  • Feb. 15 11:30 a.m. Lynden Dutch Mother’s Restaurant (Lunch provided)
  • Feb. 15 6:00 p.m. Monroe Qualco, 18117 203rd St SE (Pizza Dinner provided)
  • Feb. 22 1:00 p.m. Chehalis Livestock Market 328 N Hamilton Rd (Snacks & drinks provided)
  • Feb. 23 11:30 a.m. Deer Park Dunrenton Ranch (Littrell), 8524 W. Dahl Rd. (Lunch provided)
  • Feb. 23 6:00 p.m. Othello City Hall, 500 E. Main St. (Pizza Dinner provided)

It is not required to RSVP for these producer meetings, but it helps us to plan if we have an idea of how many will attend. Please email darcel@wastatedairy.com to let her know which producer meeting(s) you will attend. Feel free to bring as many people from your dairy, and any industry associates, as you want. We only ask that you help us anticipate numbers so we can have enough handouts and food.

If you have questions, please feel free to call Dan Wood or Jay Gordon. You can reach them at the Dairy Federation office at 360-482-3485, or you can reach Dan on his cell phone at 360-870-6018 or Jay on his cell phone at 360-951-8419.