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Contact EPA Pacific Southwest

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Laws and Authorities

The following Web sites provide detailed information about some of the federal environmental laws that may apply to animal feeding operations. The goal of these laws is to protect public health and the natural environment. The following list includes only laws that EPA is responsible for carrying out. It does not include laws enforced by other federal agencies.

Clean Water Act

This clean-flowing stream trickles freely through the woodsThe Clean Water Act is the primary federal law that protects our nation's waters, including lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Its primary objective is to restore and protect the nation's waters by eliminating pollutants that make waters unsafe for fishing, swimming and other uses. This is achieved by establishing water quality standards, issuing permits, monitoring discharges, and managing polluted runoff.

Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans' drinking water. This law protects public health by establishing safe limits, at the tap, for contaminants. The law also grants enforcement authority to prevent contamination of public drinking water supplies or any underground source of drinking water. In 1996, Congress amended the law, adding new provisions to strengthen it.

Water Quality Laws, Regulations, Policy and Guidance

EPA's water programs are responsible for carrying out the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, portions of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments, and several other statutes that may affect animal feeding operations.

Other Federal Environmental Laws

EPA's Ag Center provides links to the major statutes that contain important environmental requirements affecting the agricultural community, including animal feeding operations. In addition to federal water quality laws, such operations may also be subject to the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Federal Fungicide, Insecticide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

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