Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in South Dakota

It’s difficult to estimate how many conversations I’ve had with farmers over the years regarding permits, regulations and laws concerning animal feeding operations. It’s one of the most common conversations I have with clients, and it usually ends with me providing clients – at the outset, at least – with their least favorite answer: It depends.

The regulation of feedlots in South Dakota is handled by the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. While I’ve never had a farmer excited to run into the DENR, I can say the DENR does a fairly solid job of attempting to explain the complicated policies and concepts which apply when attempting to understand how one specific farm might fit into the state’s overarching regulatory policy. Answers regarding farmer’s questions on permitting and waste discharge are very case specific, with factors such as geographic setup, operation size, and existing waste containment efforts all coming into play. This is where “it depends” comes in to play. I need to speak with farmers to get a good feel for their operation before I ever give any specific advice.

But one site I often refer folks to for a general overview of things is the SD DENR website, and specifically, this page. This site provides answers to a lot of the common questions I receive. Any questions that remain after taking a look at this site are exactly the types of things an attorney will likely need to provide assistance on.

Anyway, take a look at that site if you have some general questions regarding waste discharge and your feedlot. If you have any questions after looking at that site, don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Happy Fourth of July!