[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 243 (Monday, December 19, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 78599-78601]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-32472]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 9 and 122

[EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0188; FRL-9608-3]
RIN 2040-AF22


National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule; Extension 
of Comment Period

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of public comment period.

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SUMMARY: On October 21, 2011 (76 FR 65431) (FRL-9481-7) EPA published a 
proposed rule entitled, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 
(NPDES) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule. As 
initially published in the Federal Register, written comments on the 
proposal were to be submitted to EPA on or before December 20, 2011 (a 
60-day public comment period). Since publication, EPA has received 
several requests for additional time to submit comments. Therefore, the 
public comment period is being extended for 30 days and will now end on 
January 19, 2012.

DATES: Comments may be submitted until January 19, 2012.

ADDRESSES: 
    Comments: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OW-2011-0188, by one of the following methods: http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Email: ow-docket@epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-
0188.
    Fax: (202) 566-9744.
    Mail: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 
28221T, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0188, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. In addition, please mail a copy of your 
comments on the information collection provisions to the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB), Attn: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th St. NW., Washington, DC 
20503.
    Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-
HQ-OW-2011-0188. Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket 
Center's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be 
made for deliveries of boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-
0188. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in 
the public docket without change and could be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The 
www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means that EPA will not know your identity or contact information 
unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email 
comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your 
email address will be automatically captured and included as part of 
the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on 
the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that 
you include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment because of technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA might not be able to consider your comment. 
Electronic files should avoid the use of

[[Page 78600]]

special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects 
or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit 
the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm. For additional instructions on submitting comments, go to 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Water Docket, EPA/DC, EPA 
West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. The 
Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding federal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Water 
Docket is (202) 566-2426.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information contact, 
Becky Mitschele, Water Permits Division, Office of Wastewater 
Management (4203M), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 
564-6418; fax number (202) 564-6384; email address: 
mitschele.becky@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This supplementary information is organized 
as follows:

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    This proposed rulemaking would apply to concentrated animal feeding 
operations (CAFOs) as defined in the National Pollutant Discharge 
Elimination System (NPDES) regulations at 40 CFR 122.23(b)(2), pursuant 
to section 502(14) of the Clean Water Act (``CWA''). An animal feeding 
operation (AFO) is a CAFO if it meets the regulatory definition of a 
Large or Medium CAFO (40 CFR 122.23(b)(4) or (6)) or has been 
designated as a CAFO (40 CFR 122.23(c)) by the NPDES permitting 
authority or by EPA. The following table provides the size thresholds 
for Large, Medium and Small CAFOs in each animal sector.

                            Table 1--Summary of CAFO Size Thresholds for All Sectors
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               Sector                        Large                Medium \1\                 Small \2\
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Cattle or cow/calf pairs...........  1,000 or more........  300-999..............  Less than 300.
Mature dairy cattle................  700 or more..........  200-699..............  Less than 200.
Veal calves........................  1,000 or more........  300-999..............  Less than 300.
Swine (weighing over 55 pounds)....  2,500 or more........  750-2,499............  Less than 750.
Swine (weighing less than 55         10,000 or more.......  3,000-9,999..........  Less than 3,000.
 pounds).
Horses.............................  500 or more..........  150-499..............  Less than 150.
Sheep or lambs.....................  10,000 or more.......  3,000-9,999..........  Less than 3,000.
Turkeys............................  55,000 or more.......  16,500-54,999........  Less than 16,500.
Laying hens or broilers (liquid      30,000 or more.......  9,000-29,999.........  Less than 9,000.
 manure handling system).
Chickens other than laying hens      125,000 or more......  37,500-124,999.......  Less than 37,500.
 (other than a liquid manure
 handling system).
Laying hens (other than a liquid     82,000 or more.......  25,000-81,999........  Less than 25,000.
 manure handling system).
Ducks ( other than a liquid manure   30,000 or more.......  10,000-29,999........  Less than 10,000.
 handling system).
Ducks (liquid manure handling        5,000 or more........  1,500-4,999..........  Less than 1,500.
 system).
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Notes:
\1\ May be designated or must meet one of the following two criteria to be defined as a medium CAFO: (A)
  Discharges pollutants through a man-made device; or (B) directly discharges pollutants into waters of the
  United States which pass over, across, or through the facility or otherwise come into direct contact with the
  confined animals. 40 CFR 122.23(b)(6).
\2\ Not a CAFO by regulatory definition, but may be designated as a CAFO on a case-by-case basis. 40 CFR
  122.23(b)(9).

    That table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a 
guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this 
proposed rulemaking. The table lists the types of entities that EPA is 
currently aware of that could be regulated by this action. Other types 
of entities not listed in the table could also be CAFOs. The owners or 
operators of AFOs that have not been designated and that do not confine 
the required number of animals to meet the definition of a Large or 
Medium CAFO are not required to submit information.
    To determine whether your operation is a CAFO, you should carefully 
examine the applicability criteria in 40 CFR 122.23. If you have 
questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular 
entity, consult the person listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section.

B. How can I get copies of these documents and other related 
information?

    1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this 
action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0188. The official public 
docket is the collection of materials that is available for public 
viewing at the Water Docket in the EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA 
West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. 
Although all documents in the docket are listed in an index, some 
information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute. Publicly available docket materials are available in hard 
copy at the EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room, open from 8:30 a.m. 
to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The 
telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744 and the 
telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426.
    2. Electronic Access. You may access this Federal Register document 
electronically through the United States government online source for 
Federal regulations at http://www.regulations.gov. Electronic versions 
of the proposed rule and factsheet are available on EPA's NPDES Web 
site at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/afo/aforule.cfm. An electronic 
version of the public docket is available through the EPA's electronic 
public docket and comment system, EPA Dockets. You may use EPA Dockets 
at http://www.regulations.gov to submit or view public comments, access 
the index

[[Page 78601]]

listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access 
those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. 
For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA 
Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/dockets. Although not all 
docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access 
any of the publicly available docket materials through the Docket 
Facility identified in Section I.B.1.

C. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, 
remember to:
     Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other 
identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and 
page number).
     Follow directions--The agency might ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
     Explain why you agree or disagree, suggest alternatives, 
and substitute language for your requested changes.
     Describe any assumptions and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
     If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how 
you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be 
reproduced.
     Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and 
suggest alternatives.
     Explain your views as clearly as possible.
     Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period 
deadline identified.
    2. Submitting Comments to EPA.
    Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0188. EPA's 
policy is that all comments received will be included in the public 
docket without change and could be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an 
``anonymous access'' system, which means that EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without 
going through http://www.regulations.gov your email address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment because of 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA 
might not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should 
avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be 
free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's 
public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    3. Submitting Confidential Business Information.
    Do not submit CBI information to EPA through www.regulations.gov or 
email. Clearly mark the part of or all the information that you claim 
to be CBI. For CBI information on a disk or CD ROM that you mail to 
EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify 
electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that 
is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment 
that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that 
does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for 
inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be 
disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 
2.

II. Extension of Comment Period for the NPDES CAFO Reporting Rule

A. Proposed NPDES CAFO Reporting Rule

    On October 21, EPA published in the Federal Register the proposed 
NPDES CAFO Reporting Rule for public comment. EPA is requesting public 
comment on the proposed rule options for gathering the information 
identified in the proposal and the alternative approaches to achieve 
water quality protection. Copies of the proposal are available on EPA's 
Web site at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/regulations/cafo_fr_proposed_reporting_rule.pdf. More information regarding the NPDES permitting 
program for CAFOs can be found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=7.

B. Extension of Comment Period

    EPA is extending the deadline for submitting comments on the 
proposed NPDES CAFO Reporting Rule to January 19, 2012. The original 
deadline for comments, based on a 60-day comment period, was December 
20, 2012. EPA's decision responds to a request from several 
organizations to extend the comment deadline in order to provide a 
longer period of time in which to provide comments. EPA believes that 
this 30-day extension will assist in providing an adequate amount of 
additional time for these organizations as well as other members of the 
public to review the proposal and to provide written comments.

    Authority: Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.

    Dated: December 13, 2011.
Nancy K. Stoner,
Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
[FR Doc. 2011-32472 Filed 12-16-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P