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Questions and Answers About Animal Feeding Operations and Inspections

Sept. 5, 2014 -- If you are an animal producer, you may need to request an initial inspection from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) to determine if a Livestock Waste Control Facility is needed at your operation. Some questions that every animal producer should ask:

Is my operation an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO)? If so, what size category?
There are two requirements for an operation to be considered an AFO:
  • Animals are confined for at least 45 days in a 12-month period, and
  • The confinement area has no grass or other vegetation.
There are three categories of AFOS: large, medium and small. The specific animal number for each category varies according to animal type and is determined by the one-time maximum operating capacity. Please visit NDEQ’s website at http://deq.ne.gov for specific details and see the Guidance Document titled “Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) Categories and Fees” (http://deq.ne.gov/publica.nsf/pages/05-006).

Do I need to request an initial inspection from NDEQ?
The initial inspection determines if a Livestock Waste Control Facility is needed at your operation to protect Waters of the State. Small AFOs are exempt from inspection and permitting, if the operation does not discharge to Waters of the State. All medium and large AFOs are required to submit a “Form A – Request for Inspection of Animal Feeding Operation” (http://deq.ne.gov/publica.nsf/pages/WAT028). If an inspection is not requested, an existing operation may be subject to late fees. An initial inspection is to be conducted before any site preparation takes place and prior to the submission of a permit application.

I own an existing AFO. Is there any other time I need to request an inspection?
Any medium or large AFO that is proposing construction of a new Livestock Waste Control Facility or an increase to the lot area or feeding area is required to submit the “Form A – Request for Animal Feeding Operation” to NDEQ. Any AFO which plans to increase animal numbers resulting in a change in designated category (small to medium or large, or medium to large), must also request an inspection.