You are here:
RISK MANAGEMENT EVALUATION FOR CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS
Barth*, E F., J L. Cicmanec*, J Goetz*, M M. Hantush*, R F. Herrmann**, P T. McCauley*, K. A. McClellan*, M A. Mills**, T L. Richardson*, S Rock*, S. Stoll, G Sayles*, J E. Smith*, AND S. Wright. RISK MANAGEMENT EVALUATION FOR CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/R-04/042, 2004.
The National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) developed a Risk Management Evaluation (RME) to provide information needed to help plan future research in the Laboratory dealing with the environmental impact of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Agriculture in the United States has undergone fundamental changes in production methods for animal products in the last 30 years. The majority of production of meat, dairy, and poultry has concentrated into large facilities where animals are housed and fed. Dairies with more than 2000 cows are not unusual. Swine operations with more than 10,000 hogs are not unusual. Broiler houses with 50,000 birds are common. Along with the concentration of animals has come a concomitant concentration of manure production. One animal facility with a large population of animals can easily equal a small city in terms of waste production. Current practices for waste handling supply minimal or no treatment before the wastes are disseminated into the environment. The RME was developed to provide characterization of the waste problem, describe common environmental stressors, and their movement. Air transport of pollutants is also a topic of concern in CAFO operation. Most complaints with regard to CAFOs stem from odors emanating from the CAFO. Current risk management practices used in the animal industry are described. Other treatment approaches such as anaerobic/aerobic digestion, constructed wetlands, and disturbed land reclamation are described. Finally, suggested areas for future research are presented to help focus planning for the near future.