Agriculture and Related Solid Waste Management

The myriad of environmental laws and regulations presents a challenge to those engaged in crop and livestock production. There is a tendency among producers to be concerned with the issue of the day such as TMDLs, Gulf of Mexico hypoxia, etc.; however, it is equally important to maintain focus on the long established environmental regulations, administered under both state and federal laws. Failure to do so can bring about some very costly legal problems and liabilities.


The authority to carry out programs under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and other related federal laws is granted to most states by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through delegation agreements. Furthermore, many states have their own air, water, and solid waste regulations. Livestock producers can benefit most by being familiar with the environmental laws that are applicable within their own state.


The regulatory requirements may be applicable to practices directly related to animal production, such as dead animal disposal, and to peripheral activities such as the demolition of old farm structures and agrichemical storage and waste management. This presentation will illustrate examples of some common production practices and describe how they may be subject to the provisions of one or more of the federal/state environmental laws.