Two Construction Permits Necessary for CAFOs
When an individual wishes to begin construction on a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), or expand an existing operation, they will need to contact the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEE) regarding the need for a construction and operating permit as well as a construction storm water permit. In addition to these requirements, there may be other permitting obligations that may be applicable to the facility; however, the focus of this fact sheet is the difference between these two construction permits.
NDEE encourages any person with questions regarding permitting requirements to contact the appropriate agency division or the Small Business and Public Assistance Coordinator. Contact information provided below.
Construction Storm Water General Permits
Issued Under Nebraska Title 119
Under Nebraska Title 119 – Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Issuance of Permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, if the construction of a facility will involve clearing, grading or excavating an area of one acre or more, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) construction storm water permit will need to be obtained.
Prior to construction, an NPDES Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) will need to be implemented to control erosion and sediment run-off during construction. The state has a general permit, which covers construction storm water activities; permit NER110000.
To obtain coverage under this general permit, you will need to submit a Notice of Intent.
A few things to note regarding NDEE review times for a Construction Stormwater Permit:
- Under the general storm water permit, staff seek to prepare and mail a courtesy letter which provides the authorization number for the project within seven (7) days of the program receiving the Construction Storm Water Notice of Intent (CSW-NOI), assuming there are no deficiencies or inaccuracies – i.e., the CSW-NOI is complete and accurate. The Department recommends you send your CSW-NOI in 30 days in advance of when you wish to begin construction to allow for any corrections that may need to be made.
- The project must have a prepared Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The SWPPP must be prepared before the CSW-NOI is submitted. This work may need to be contracted in advance to avoid delays.
- Occasionally a CSW-NOI is sent in which has a deficiency. NDEE staff will notify the project proponent via phone or e-mail about the deficiency and what actions will resolve the issues. The timeliness in the response of the applicant may dictate the permitting time.
- Very rarely, a project CSW-NOI may be delayed for approval beyond the seven-day timeframe if there are issues that are raised by the Nebraska Games and Parks Commission regarding threatened or endangered species. It is always recommended that the provided checklist be completed early so it can be determined early-on if a review is required.
For questions concerning the NPDES construction storm water permit program, please contact the NDEE Construction Storm Water Coordinator at (402) 471-4220.
Livestock Waste Control Regulations Permits
Issued Under Title 130
Nebraska’s regulations pertaining to the animal wastes generated by animal feeding operations can be found under Title 130 – Livestock Waste Control Regulations. The NDEE Livestock Waste Control Program administers two types of permitting programs for livestock waste control facilities in Nebraska: The federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program and the state construction and operating permit program.
The state construction and operating permit program requires an applicant to have an approved permit in place before construction of an animal feeding operation. After submitting Title 130 – Form A Request for Inspection of Animal Feeding Operation Form, Department personnel will conduct an initial site inspection, and if the location is feasible send out a letter saying a permit is required. The individual then must prepare and submit the Title 130 – Form B – Permit Application.
Once an applicant has submitted a complete application package:
- Within 60 days, the Department issues a public notice on whether the proposed project is to be approved or denied. If the permit is to be approved, the public has a 30-day comment period.
- The Department has up to 110 days from the receipt of the application to approve or deny the application and transmit the findings to the applicant. This timeframe includes the 60- and 30-day periods mentioned above.
Please note that the federal NPDES permitting program generally requires large and medium-sized CAFOs to have an NPDES permit before discharging livestock waste into waters of the state. NDEE requires an operation to obtain a NPDES permit. Applications must be submitted at least 180 days before the planned use of the livestock waste control facilities.
For questions concerning the Livestock Waste Control Program permits, please contact the NDEE at (402) 471-4239.
Construction Permit Requirements for CAFOs – Summary Table
Permit or Notification
NPDES Construction Storm Water Permits
At a minimum: 7 days in advance
Recommended: 30 days in advance
Construction and Operating Permit
110 days, in advance
NDEE Home Page: http://dee.ne.gov
NDEE Livestock Waste Control Program: http://dee.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/LWCP
NDEE Main Office (402) 471-2186
NDEE Small Business and Public Assistance (402) 471-8697
NDEE Construction Storm Water Permits (402) 471-4220
NDEE Livestock Waste Control Program (402) 471-4239
Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
P.O. Box 98922
Lincoln, NE 68509-8922
Visit our website: http://dee.ne.gov
This material is intended for guidance purposes only. It is not meant to substitute for the regulations specified in the document, or any other applicable Nebraska environmental regulations.