EPA Issues New Deadlines for CAFO NPDES Permits and NMPs
On February 10, 2006, EPA published a final rule to extend the current NPDES deadlines for CAFOs in response to last year's Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc. v. EPA decision from the Second Circuit (399 F.3d 486). EPA is extending all permitting and NMP deadlines from the 2003 CAFO Rule to July 31, 2007. Thus, "newly defined" CAFOs (those that were not defined as CAFOs by EPA prior to April 14, 2003) and existing CAFOs that meet EPA's new definition due to operational changes are no longer subject to the February 13, 2006 and April 13, 2006 deadlines for seeking NPDES permit coverage or the December 31, 2006 deadline for development and implementation of an NMP.
EPA stated in the proposed rule that it will issue an additional rulemaking "in mid 2006" to address the substantive issues raised in the Second Circuit's decision (i.e. duty to apply, NMP review, approval, and public participation requirements, etc.). The July 31, 2007 deadline may be extended or revised further in that subsequent rulemaking if necessary.
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