Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
​​​Animal Feeding Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Operations that are defined as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) pursuant to 401 KAR 5:060, Section 5, are required to obtain a Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permit. In order to be categorized as a CAFO, an operation must first meet the definition of an animal feeding operation (AFO).​

Animal Feeding Operation (AFO)

Animal Feeding Operations is a lot or facility where animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of forty-five days or more in any twelve month period; and where crops, vegetation forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained over any portion of the lot or facility.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)

If an Animal Feeding Operation does not discharge, or intend to discharge, the Cabinet shall not consider it a CAFO, regardless of size size pursuant to 401 KAR 5:005 Section 25.  CAFO definitions include large concentrated animal feeding operation [40 C.F.R. 122.23(b)(4)],  medium concentrated animal feeding operation [40 C.F.R. 122.23(b)(6)], and small concentrated animal feeding operation [40 C.F.R. 122.23(b)(9)], pursuant to 401 KAR 5:002

Kentucky No Discharge Operational Permit (KNDOP)

AFOs with a liquid manure waste handling system are required to obtain a KNDOP to legally operate.  In order to apply for a KNDOP, a completed Short Form B must be submitted.  There is no fee for a KNDOP, which is valid for five years.  Dry waste systems are not required to have a permit.

Construction Permit (CP)

Anyone planning to build a liquid manure waste handling system must obtain a construction permit before beginning construction.  In order to apply for a CP, a completed Short Form B must be submitted along with the design criteria for the structure.  There is no fee for a CP, which is valid for one year.

Stormwater Permit for Construction (KYR10)

Agriculture cropping is exempt from obtaining a permit to control the quality of stormwater. However, a stormwater general permit, KYR10, is required for construction of holding ponds, barns, feeding areas or construction activities that disturb one acre or more.  There is not a fee for KYR10 and it is valid for one year.

Agriculture Water Quality Act (AWQA)

Passed by the 1994 General Assembly, the AWQA focuses on the protection of surface and ground water from agriculture/silviculture activities.  The act created the Agriculture Water Quality Authority, a 15-member peer group made up of farmers and representatives from various agencies and organizations that developed Best Management Practices (BMPs) for farming activities.  All farms of 10 acres or more are required to adhere to the applicable BMPs and must have a site-specific Agricultural Water Quality Plan.  For more information regarding the AWQA, contact the Division of Conservation.

Nutrient Management Plans (NMP)

AFOs are required to develop a NMP, whether they have a liquid manure waste handling system or not.  The plan must be consistent with the AWQA and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Code 590.  Large AFOs, when applying for a construction or an operational permit must submit a NMP with the application.

Applicable Regulations for Animal Feeding Operations
New Reporting Requirements Coming Soon!

NPDES-permittees must electronically submit these annual reports starting no later than December 21, 2020

eRule Date Requirements for CAFO's

Data Elements Specific to the CAFO Annual Program Report

NPDES-permitted CAFOs are required to submit an annual report to the authorized NPDES program (40 CFR 122) in accordance with 40 CFR 122.42(e)(4). The annual report must include operational information including a summary of unauthorized discharges from the production area or land application area. The electronic submission of these annual reports will help permitting authorities collect and process CAFO information more efficiently, and aid in the evaluation of the compliance status of NPDES-permitted CAFOs. In particular, these annual reports help to identify how CAFOs are operating, how many animals of each animal type are being raised at permitted CAFOs, how many permitted CAFOs have had discharges within the previous year, the type and amounts of manure generated by permitted CAFOs in the previous year, and the requirements and controls on these CAFOs.

The final rule standardized reporting requirements for the CAFO annual program report. A detailed description of these data elements is provided in Attachment 5. EPA collaboratively worked with states to develop data entry screen mock-ups for these data elements. See Attachment 6. The use of standardization helps ensure uniformity and consistency of all NPDES permits issued by EPA and authorized NPDES programs. NPDES-permittees must electronically submit these annual reports starting no later than 21 December 2020 (see Table 1 to 40 CFR 127.16). Authorized NPDES programs should provide the necessary data to enable ICIS-NPDES to automatically detect of non-reporting. 

Additionally, authorized NPDES programs are required to share these data with EPA in a timely, accurate, complete, and consistent format (see Subpart C to 40 CFR part 127). Authorized NPDES programs will directly share these data elements with ICIS-NPDES or through other electronic data transfers.

​Need Assistance? Contact:
 Surface Water Permits Branch 

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
300 Sower Blvd
Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone Directory
Contact Us
Civil Rights/Derecho Civiles

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability or sex. This policy protects the rights of Cabinet employees, service applicants and customers. Vendors, agencies and organizations providing services to the Cabinet or its recipients of federally-aided programs also must comply with this policy.