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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

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Table of Contents: Land Quality

Confined Feeding Approval

No one may start construction of a confined feeding operation or expansion without the prior approval of IDEM. Confined feeding is the raising of animals for food, fur, or recreation in lots, pens, ponds, sheds or buildings where they are confined, fed and maintained for at least 45 days during any year, and where there is no ground cover or vegetation present over at least half of the animals' confinement area.

Any new animal feeding operation designed to confine at least 300 cattle, 600 swine or sheep, or 30,000 fowl in lots, pens, ponds, sheds or buildings where they are fed and maintained for at least forty-five (45) days during any year, must first be approved by IDEM before construction and operation. Approvals are also required for existing operations expanding to confine at least the above mentioned numbers of animals. Animal feeding operations are divided into two categories according to the size of the operations, based on the maximum number of confined animals. Confined feeding operations (CFOs) are the smaller of the two categories. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are farms with larger animal thresholds. CFOs and CAFOs are described in further detail below.

Additional information is provided on IDEM’s Web site for Confined Feeding Operations and the Animal Feeding Operations Fact Sheet is available on the IDEM Fact Sheets page.

Confined Feeding Operations (CFOs)

The Indiana Administrative Code (327 IAC 16-2-5) defines a confined feeding operation as a site where animals are confined and the following conditions apply:

  • The animals are confined for forty-five (45) days or more of a year, consecutive or nonconsecutive;
  • The confinement area is covered with less than fifty percent (50 percent) vegetation; and,
  • The number of confined feeding animals exceeds:
    • Three hundred (300) cattle;
    • Six hundred (600) swine;
    • Six hundred (600) sheep;
    • Thirty thousand (30,000) fowl; or
  • An animal feeding operation that causes a violation of:
    • water pollution control laws;
    • any rules of the water pollution control board [329 IAC 16-9-1]; or
    • The confined feeding statute (found under the Indiana Code at IC 13-18-10).

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

A CFO is considered a CAFO if the number of animals in confinement at the operation exceeds:

  • 700 mature dairy cows;
  • 1,000 veal calves;
  • 1,000 cattle other than mature dairy cows;
  • 2,500 swine above 55 pounds;
  • 10,000 swine less than 55 pounds;
  • 500 horses;
  • 10,000 sheep or lambs;
  • 55,000 turkeys;
  • 30,000 laying hens or broilers with a liquid manure handling system;
  • 125,000 broilers with a solid manure handling system;
  • 82,000 laying hens with a solid manure handling system;
  • 30,000 ducks with a solid manure handling system; or
  • 5,000 ducks with a liquid manure handling system.

No one may start construction of a CAFO or expansion without the prior approval of IDEM.

There are two types of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued for CAFOs:

  1. A general NPDES permit establishes uniform criteria to be followed by those with a general permit; or,
  2. An individual NPDES permit provides an opportunity for IDEM to require additional protective measures, or for the farm to construct or operate in a manner different than that prescribed by the general permit regulation.

Application Information

Who May Need An Approval or Permit?

Anyone proposing to construct or expand a CFO or CAFO (as defined above) must first apply for and obtain a CFO approval or CAFO permit prior to its construction and operation.

CFO approvals and CAFO permits are needed for:

  1. Any new CFO or CAFO,
  2. Any expansions of existing CFO or CAFO if the number of animals in the confined feeding operation increases by 10% over the previously approved animal capacity, or the number required for initial approval, and
  3. For existing CFOs or CAFOs never before approved or permitted.

Before submitting your application, it is highly recommended that you review the IDEM Office of Land Quality's CFO Guidance Manual which provides a thorough explanation of approval requirements for construction and operation of a confined feeding operation. Other helpful documents also are available on the Confined Feeding Operations Web page.

CFO Application Requirements

A CFO seeking an approval must provide at least two (2) copies of the following to IDEM:

  • A completed CFO approval application form;
  • Submit a fee of one hundred dollars ($100) with the application (also see fee information under CAFO Application Requirements, below);
  • Confirmation that any necessary public notice requirements were conducted;
  • The applicant must provide notification, within 10 working days of application submittal, to all adjoining landowners or their current occupants and the County Board of Commissioners that they have submitted an application to IDEM;
  • A manure management plan outlining procedures for soil testing and manure testing;
  • Soil survey and topographic maps of manure application areas which outline field borders, identify the owner, and acres available;
  • Farmstead plan showing the location of the buildings and waste storage structures in relation to the following features within 500 feet:
    1. water wells,
    2. drainage patterns,
    3. property lines,
    4. roads, and
    5. streams, ditches and tile inlets;
  • Plans and specifications for the design and construction of the animal confinement structure and manure treatment and control facilities if any construction is proposed at the site.

CAFO Application Requirements

A CAFO seeking a general or individual permit for coverage or construction must provide at least two (2) copies of the following to IDEM:

  • A completed NPDES permit application form;
  • A completed CFO approval application form if any construction is proposed at the site (see requirements in previous section);
  • For coverage permits, submit a fee of one hundred and fifty dollars ($150) for a general permit and three hundred dollars ($300) for an individual permit with the application;
  • For coverage permits with construction proposed, submit a fee of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) for a general permit and four hundred dollars ($400) for an individual permit;
  • Confirmation that any necessary public notice requirements were conducted; and,
  • Soil urvey and topographic maps of manure application areas which outline field borders, identify the owner, and acres available.

What to Expect

IDEM has ninety (90) days to issue decisions regarding CFO approvals and CAFO general NPDES permits. IDEM has one hundred and eighty (180) days to issue decisions regarding CAFO individual NPDES permits. If IDEM needs any additional information to process an application, it will contact the applicant by mail or fax with a request for additional information within thirty (30) days of receipt of a complete application. Any time which passes while IDEM is awaiting a response will not be counted against IDEM's allotted processing time frames.

Upon receipt of the application, IDEM will notify the county board of commissioners, mayor or town council president of any county, city or town that is affected by the application.

After the approval decision is made, potentially affected parties will have 18 days to appeal the decision. If approved or permitted, construction of the CFO or CAFO must begin not later than two (2) years and be completed not later than four (4) years after the approval or permit has been issued or after all appeals have been settled.

What's New?

U.S. EPA’s CAFO rule was final adopted on October 31, 2008. For current CAFO regulations, visit U.S. EPA’s Web site on CAFO Rule History.

For Additional Information

To learn more about IDEM's Confined Feeding approval program or to obtain an application packet visit the IDEM Confined Feeding Operations Webpage or contact IDEM’s Confined Feeding Program at (800) 451-6027, ext. 2-4473 or 2-8736.