CAFO General Permits History
A Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) is an animal feeding operation (farm) that meets certain animal size thresholds and that also confines those animals for 45 days or more in any 12-month period in an area that does not produce vegetation. New York State has roughly 500 CAFOs, the majority of which are dairy farms with 300 or more cows and associated livestock operations.
DEC issued its first SPDES general permit for CAFOs in 1999, as required by federal regulations in place at that time. In response to a change in these federal regulations, the DEC issued a second SPDES general permit in 2009, the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) CAFO general permit. The ECL CAFO general permit was originally issued as a mechanism to ensure regulatory oversight of an industry that was largely about to be unregulated as a result of a federal lawsuit and subsequent change in federal regulations. NY developed and issued the ECL permit for farms which did not discharge in order to ensure best management practices and nutrient management plans would still be developed and implemented on our largest livestock farms. Since that time, NY's CAFO program has continued to operate by offering two SPDES General Permits for CAFOs.
Following the issuance of the initial ECL version in 2009, farms had a choice, to continue to operate under the 2004 CWA version of the permit which allowed for a discharge from the production area, or to transition to the more restrictive ECL permit, which did not. In 2009, many farms did not have in place the manure storage and/or other critical practices needed to ensure no discharge, so many elected to stay under the CWA permit. Since that time, the State had dedicated millions of dollars to farms to help them improve conditions at their facilities; has included additional requirements in permit revisions to help better define what farms are expected to achieve under each permit; and has hence seen a shift to the ECL permit.
- Environmental Conservation Law General Permit GP-0-22-001 (PDF): Operations that fit the definition of a "CAFO" as defined in 6 NYCRR 750-1.2(a)(23), constitute construction of a point source. Construction of a point source that is designed, constructed, operated and maintained to not discharge manure or process wastewater is eligible for coverage under this general permit and must obtain coverage prior to operation of the CAFO facility.
- Individual SPDES permit for Industrial Discharges - NY-2C Application (PDF): Operations that fit the definition of a "CAFO" and are designed to discharge manure or process wastewater must obtain an individual SPDES permit prior to operation of the CAFO facility. Operations may apply for the coverage under an individual SPDES permit by submitting the above NY-2C Application to the Department.
- CNMP Certification (PDF) - To be completed by the CAFOs AEM Certified Planner. This signed certification must be attached to the electronically submitted Request to Continue Coverage, Notice of Intent, Change of Operation (is applicable), and Annual Compliance Report Forms in accordance with GP-0-22-001. In addition, this signed certification shall be sent to the Regional Office within 6 months of a permitted CAFO acquiring an AFO or CAFO operation in accordance with GP-0-22-001.
- Owner/Operator Certification (PDF) - To be completed by the CAFOs owner/operator. This signed certification must be attached to the electronically submitted Request to Continue Coverage, Notice of Intent, Change of Operation (is applicable), and Annual Compliance Report Forms in accordance with GP-0-22-001.
- Request to Continue Coverage Form (PDF) - The PDF of the Request to Continue Coverage Form is to be used for review purposes with the CAFOs owner/operator ONLY. This form may NOT be submitted to request continued coverage under GP-0-22-001 and is only to be used by existing CAFOs seeking continued coverage under GP-0-22-001.
- Notice of Intent (PDF) - The PDF of the Notice of Intent (NOI) Form is to be used for review purposes with the CAFOs owner/operator ONLY. This form may NOT be submitted to request coverage under GP-0-22-001. To request coverage, please submit the electronic NOI by accessing the nForm Portal and following the instructions below.
- Annual Compliance Report (PDF) - The Annual Compliance Report (ACR) must be submitted to DEC by March 31 of each year and must describe facility operations from the previous reporting year. The PDF of the ACR Form is to be used for review purposes with the CAFOs owner/operator ONLY. Please submit the electronic ACR by accessing nForm Portal and following the instructions below.
- Change of Operation Form (PDF) - The Change of Operation Form must be submitted to DEC whenever a facility is transferred to another legally responsible party, the AEM Certified Planner of record for the facility changes, the facility expands by 20% or more, the facility constructs or expands a liquid waste storage facility, the facility acquires another AFO or CAFO, or the on farm contact changes. Please follow the instructions on the form relevant to the change the operation is making to ensure the correct certifications are attached. The CNMP Certification and the Owner/Operator Certifications can be found above.
- Previous Owner/Operator Certification (PDF) - To be completed by the CAFOs previous owner/operator. This signed certification must be attached to the electronically submitted Change of Operation Form, as applicable.
- New AEM Certified Planner Certification (PDF) - To be completed by the CAFOs new AEM certified planner. This signed certification must be attached to the electronically submitted Change of Operation Form, as applicable.
- Incident Report Form (PDF) - This form must be submitted to DEC in accordance with the timeframes specified in the permit whenever a discharge from the CAFO causes a water quality violation; an overflow occurs from a waste storage structure; there is an unintended release of liquid manure, liquid food processing waste, liquid digestate, or process wastewater reported to the DEC Spills Hotline; application above the maximum annual application rate or above the single application rates described in Part III.A.8.b)(1) and (2) of GP-0-22-001 occurs; or any of the conditions related to the discharge of Non-Contact Cooling Water are not met.
- Incident Report Owner/Operator Certification (PDF) - To be completed by the CAFOs owner/operator. This signed certification must be attached to the electronically submitted Incident Report Form.
- Notice of Termination (PDF) - The NOT is a request to terminate coverage under the ECL CAFO general permit.
- Notice of Termination Owner/Operator Certification (PDF) - To be completed by the CAFOs owner/operator. This signed certification must be attached to the electronically submitted Notice of Termination Form.
Please follow the instructions below to access the nForm Portal where the electronic versions of these forms are available. Signed copies of the required Certifications, available above, must be uploaded to the nForm before the form can be deemed complete and submitted.
Users with an NY.gov Account, should proceed to Step 1 below.
Users without NY.gov Accounts, go to NYSDEC nForm Portal and follow instructions for Users Without NY.gov Accounts.
- Go to https://my.ny.gov/ and click "Create an Account"
- Click "Personal"
- Click the "Sign Up for a Personal NY.gov ID" button
- Complete the NY.gov Self Registration
- Once complete, you will receive an email to activate your account
- Select three secret questions and a password
- Follow Steps 1 through 3 below
- For users that have NY.gov accounts, access the NYSDEC nForm Portal.
- Click the "Log in to nForm" link or the blue nForm Login button, which will take you to the NY.gov sign in screen and Sign In with your Username and Password. If you just created a new account, you will not need to sign in to NY.gov again, just skip to Step 3 below.
- If you forgot your username or password, this information can be recovered by clicking on Forgot Username? or Forgot Password? and then answering secret questions or through the email address that was used to create your NY.gov account.
- Once signed in to NY.gov, go back to the NYSDEC nForm Portal and click on the "Log in to nForm" link or the blue nForm Login button.
- Once on the nForm webpage, click the "Finder" link to do a Form Search (search for the name of the electronic form you wish to submit (i.e. "Request to Continue Coverage," "CAFO Notice of Intent," etc.)).
- Click on the electronic form and follow instructions for completing the form.
- NRCS Standards required by the CAFO general permits
- Nutrient Management - NY 590 (09/2020) (PDF)
- Waste Storage Facility - NY 313 (03/2018) (PDF)
- Anaerobic Digester- NY 366 (03/2019) (PDF)
- Waste Transfer Standard - NY 634 (10/2015) (PDF)
- Vegetated Treatment Areas - NY 635 (02/2017) (PDF)
- Heavy Use Area Protection - NY 561 (09/2021) (PDF)
- Waste Facility Closure - NY 360 (05/2020) (PDF)
- Karst Sinkhole Treatment - NY 527 (10/2016) (PDF)
- Animal Mortality - NY 316 (04/2016) (PDF)
- Composting Facility - NY 317 (09/2021) (PDF)
- Cornell Guidelines referenced in the CAFO general permits
- AEM Tools
- Cornell University Field Crops Nutrient Guidelines
- Recordkeeping Checklist - list of records required to be maintained by the owner/operator
- Use of Unrecognizable Food Processing Waste (FPW) on a CAFO
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Help for Farms and other Agricultural Businesses
If you have questions about the CAFO permit program, contact Sara Latessa at 518-402-8086, or send your question via email.