Fact Sheets and Information for Animal Feeding Operations

The following fact sheets provide information on regulations, designed primarily for livestock and poultry producers:


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Rules & Regulations

State agencies are responsible for implementing laws passed by the Iowa General Assembly. The Department of Natural Resources writes rules to implement the laws. Expand the tab for help finding specific sections of administrative rules or laws governing animal feeding operations.


The Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) includes all rules written by state agencies, including the Iowa Department of Natural Resources or DNR. These rules are written to administer state laws. Rules for animal feeding operations are found in Chapter 65 under the Environmental Protection Commission (agency identification number 567). There are also a few rules applicable to animal feeding operations located in 567 IAC Chapters 32, 60, 61, 63 and 64.

To view current rules:

  • Go to the Iowa Administrative Code website under the Environmental Protection Commission [567] listing.
  • Click on the rules, PDF or RTF tabs in the right-hand column under the appropriate chapter or use this direct link to 567 IAC Chapter 65.
  • 567 IAC Chapter 65 is broken down into specific sections, such as definitions, manure management plan requirements, manure applicator certification, construction requirements for open feedlots, etc. Sections 567 IAC 65.1 through 567 IAC 65.22 pertain to confinement feeding operations. Sections 567 IAC 65.100 through 567 IAC 65.114 pertain to open feedlots. For truck washes, see sections 567 IAC 65.200 through 567 IAC 65.210.

The Iowa Code includes all laws passed by the Iowa General Assembly. To find a specific section of Iowa Code relating to animal feeding operations:

  1. Iowa Code, Applicable chapters include:
    • Chapter 459 -- Animal Agriculture and Compliance Act
    • Chapter 459A -- Animal Agriculture and Compliance Act for Open Feedlot Operations
    • Chapter 459B -- Dry Bedded Confinement Feeding Operations
  2. Click on the rules, PDF or RTF tabs in the right-hand column under the appropriate chapter.

As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. This program includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) rule. In Iowa, EPA delegates enforcement of the NPDES program to the DNR. The DNR's NPDES section issues NPDES permits and storm water permits to animal feeding operations and provides technical assistance to animal feeding operation owners and operators. The EPA rules and rule history are available on its CAFO website.


The DNR has several sections that work with animal feeding operations:

The Field Services and Compliance Bureau reviews manure management and nutrient management plans, inspects earthen basins, inspects potential construction sites, investigates complaints and responds to manure, fertilizer and chemical spills.

DNR's AFO Construction Permitting Section reviews applications for construction permits for animal feeding operations. An engineer coordinates this review with the applicant, the applicant's engineer and other DNR staff to assure that all requirements are met before a permit is issued. The construction permitting section is located in Field Office 2 and Field Office 3 of the Field Services and Compliance Bureau.

The DNR regulates construction on all flood plains and floodways in the state to protect life and property; and to promote the orderly development and wise use of Iowa's flood plains. The Floodplains section responds to requests for Flood Plain Determinations or Declaratory Orders from producers who are planning to build, expand or modify a confinement feeding operation that will be using formed storage, and the proposed location is on alluvial soils or alluvial aquifer as determined by using the AFO Siting Atlas.

The NPDES (or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) section of Iowa DNR issues NPDES and storm water permits to animal feeding operations. Authority to issue these federal permits has been delegated to the DNR by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Iowa NPDES staff provide technical assistance to animal feeding operators. The NPDES staff coordinate with DNR field office staff when NPDES permits are issued, and with the construction permitting staff to ensure facility designs meet NPDES permit requirements.

Air Quality Field Study

The DNR Air Quality Bureau conducted a field study near animal feeding operations to evaluate air quality in rural Iowa. The purpose was to discover if harmful concentrations of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, or odors were emitted.


EPA/DNR Work Plan

DNR and EPA Region 7 executed a Work Plan as a means to strengthen Iowa’s implementation of the federally authorized NPDES program. This Work Plan contains activities and commitments by DNR and Region 7 that span federal fiscal years 2013-2019.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 work together to implement the federally authorized National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program within Iowa in a timely, appropriate and effective manner.  We establish priorities, negotiate program commitments and work sharing, and evaluate program performance.  


DNR and Region 7 executed this Work Plan as a means to strengthen Iowa’s implementation of the federally authorized NPDES program.  This Work Plan contains activities and commitments by DNR and Region 7 that generally span federal fiscal years (FFY) 2013-2019.

Manure Discharge Chart

EPA Response - April 3, 2019

August 2018 Annual Work Plan Report

Work Plan Agreement

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


Work Plan Obligations


DNR Online Services
  • AFO Database
    The Animal Feeding Operations Database is an application that the public can use to access information about DNR’s regulated livestock and poultry facilities.
     
  • AFO Siting Atlas
    The AFO Siting Atlas is an interactive map to assist in the siting of animal feeding operations. This application can be used to determine if a potential building or expansion location is in karst terrain or alluvial soils, or near a major water source.
     
  • Burial Zone Map
    This interactive map can assist producers in selecting animal burial zones, that are classified as low, medium or high risk based on a number of environmental factors.
     
  • eMMP, Electronic Manure Management Plan System
    eMMP is an online application used by producers to submit manure management plan (MMP) updates and pay fees. The public can also view these records.
     
  • Interactive Mapping
    DNR’s page for interactive mapping provides a way to readily obtain information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data without having specialized GIS software.
     
  • Manure Discharge Chart
    The Manure Discharge Chart documents discharges from animal feeding operations that reach a water of the state. The chart documents discharges from September, 2013 to the present, and is updated at the beginning of each month. Questions regarding the chart can be directed to Kelli Book at 515-725-9572 or Kelli.Book@dnr.iowa.gov.
     
  • Well Data
    Private water supply well records that are available as public records can be found in the Private Well Tracking System (PWTS) database. This online database contains information for some (not all) of the wells installed in Iowa.
     

Other Useful Links:

  • GeoSam
    The University of Iowa’s GeoSam is “Iowa’s geologic site and sample tracking program. GeoSam provides location, identification, and other key information about every available well, rock exposure, or site of geologic information in Iowa. GeoSam can be searched using either a map-based or text-based interface.”
     
  • GISU – Iowa Geographic Map Data
    This site provided by Iowa State University allows free access to Iowa geographic map data through an online map viewer, ArcIMS map services, or through GIS software extensions.
     
  • Iowa Geodata (requires GIS software)
    Iowa Geodata is the State's clearinghouse of geospatial data. The site contains data that was previously found on the DNR’s NRGIS Library.
     
  • Iowa Manure Management Action Group (IMMAG)
    Iowa State University’s Extension and Outreach page provides information on manure applicator certification training, links to service providers, and other relevant topics for owners and operators of animal feeding operations.
     
  • Pollution Control Tax Exemption and Certification for Animal Feeding Operations
    Pollution control properties may be eligible for a property tax exemption if certain criteria are met. See DNR Form 542-0640 or visit the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website for more information.
     
  • State Revolving Fund (SRF)
    The Livestock Water Quality Program (LWQ) offers low-interest loans through participating lenders to Iowa livestock producers for projects to prevent, minimize or eliminate non-point source pollution of Iowa’s rivers and streams from animal feeding operations.