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I've seen horse farms with piles of manure are submerged in the spring when it rains and draining right into a canal that drains into the Lake.  Isn't there something horse farms can do to dispose of their manure so this doesn't happen?  Who regula

Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water is responsible for issuing and enforcing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) which discharge or propose to discharge pollutants.  The NPDES program is a provision of the Clean Water Act and its intent is to eliminate illicit discharges to Waters of the United States. CAFO facilities are generally much larger than typical animal feeding facilities. 

In addition to the NPDES permit, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Livestock Environmental Permitting Program issues operating permits to all large CAFOs in Ohio.  The production area and land application requirements are very similar to those enforced by Ohio EPA. 

The large majority of animal feeding operations in Ohio do not fall under any direct state agency oversight.  Unregulated horse farms should be following Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Standards 590 and 633 in land-applying their manure. The NRCS is an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water Resources has adopted rules and standards for agricultural pollution abatement.  If a complaint situation arises regarding pollution of waters of the state from agricultural practices from sediment or manure runoff, the situation is investigated. If after the initial investigation a rule violation exists, a resolution and compliance deadline will be established. If voluntary resolution of the complaint cannot be accomplished at the local level and the complaint persists, the next tier of the complaint process invokes an ODNR-DSWR, Chief’s Order and, potentially, involvement by the Attorney General’s office.

Gail Hesse, Ohio EPA

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