Confined Animal Feeding Operations

Runoff from a Confined Animal Feeding Operation

Industrial livestock operations focus on a single species - such as cows, chickens, or pigs - and sometimes just a certain phase of growth of that species. 

These businesses concentrate a large number of animals within a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and import feed into the facility and administer the feed to the animals in a uniform fashion.

Water & Air Pollution

Livestock waste, including animal manure, accumulates in vast quantities on CAFOs. It must be trucked or piped from the facility to surrounding fields.

Due to the large number of animals at a CAFO, livestock waste may be over-applied to nearby fields leading to nutrient runoff. Pollution from CAFOs can pollute groundwater and streams, posing threats to drinking water.

Because of the intensive livestock populations on CAFOs, polluted air must be constantly exhausted from the facility. The exhaust may contain ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and pathogens and other compounds. 

These emissions can be a threat to public health in the communities surrounding livestock facilities.

The Ohio Environmental Council has consistently been Ohio’s leading voice—before the legislature and state agencies, and in the media—in advocating for better public health and environmental protections from CAFO pollution.

How to Report Complaints

Ohio’s current regulatory rules for CAFOs involves several state and local agencies. Which government agency is responsible for investigating complaints and enforcing laws can be very confusing. The OEC can help you direct your concerns to the appropriate agency. 

Learn how to report a complaint against a CAFO.

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