Increasing regulatory controls over animal feeding operations to enhance environmental quality
Centner, Terence J.
Mullen, Jeffrey D.
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Economies of scale have led to the production of animals at large confined facilities concentrated in selected regions. Such production has been accompanied by environmental problems including the degradation of water quality. Both state and federal governments have enacted new legislation and regulatory provisions to respond to problems created by concentrated animal feeding operations. The emphasis of the adopted provisions has been on eliminating pollution and environmental degradation from animal wastes. A major consideration has been to reduce nutrient contamination of waters which occurs due to excessive applications of manure from large, concentrated operations. Two possibilities can be examined to devise more successful mechanisms for controlling pollution from animals. First, more detailed regulations may better define which practices and operations need to be monitored as point sources of pollution. This might allow monitoring agencies to focus their efforts on smaller numbers of producers. Second, state governments may need new mechanisms for the more assertive enforcement of existing regulations.