Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.
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.
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:
A CFO is considered a CAFO if the number of animals in confinement at the operation exceeds:
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:
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:
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.
A CFO seeking an approval must provide at least two (2) copies of the following to IDEM:
A CAFO seeking a general or individual permit for coverage or construction must provide at least two (2) copies of the following to IDEM:
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.
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.
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.