Wednesday, October 16, 2019

EPA evaluates West Virginia animal agriculture programs

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluation released Monday said West Virginia’s animal agriculture regulations and programs are heavily reliant on voluntary participation in an effort to increase conservation practices beneficial to water quality.

The EPA found that participation in cost-share programs and nutrient management plans was largely on a voluntary basis and that farms are not assessed for compliance. The report showed that 375 West Virginia farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, 95 percent of which include animal agriculture, have nutrient management plans. It also showed that the state has only issued Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permits to two farms out of over 2,600 with animal feeding operations.

The evaluation is part of the EPA’s oversight efforts to track animal agricultural programs in states with the potential to impact the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The EPA looked into the states' use of federal and state programs to see how it was meeting contaminant reduction commitments prescribed by the Watershed Implementation Plan in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.

The EPA also released similar evaluations of animal agriculture programs in Delaware and Maryland on Monday. The EPA released similar reports for New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia earlier in the year.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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