Living with Your NPDES Permit

Joe Lally, Project Coordinator, Iowa Beef Center


Livestock Producers and their engineers expend a great deal of time, energy, and money to get a construction permit to build or expand a CAFO.  For first time permit holders, receiving the permit is seen as the end of the journey, but what they find is that it is only the beginning.  Running their operation in accordance with the permit and maintaining documentation required is a shock to producers that havent had a permit.  Often times there is a disconnect between the engineer that designed the system and the producer that must operate it.


To help producers better understand their obligations and develop strategies to meet them, Iowa State University Extension in conjunction with Heartland Regional Water Coordination Initiative conducted two workshops entitled Living with Your Permit.  County and area extension staff in Sioux and Carroll County coordinated the meetings.  The target audience was Iowa NPDES Permit holders and those that are in the process of gaining a permit from IDNR.  Consultants operating in Iowa that are providing service to these NPDES Permit holders were also invited.  Iowa DNR field staff also attended to learn what the producers were being told.


The purpose of the workshop was to educate producers and their consultants on responsibilities identified in their permit, provide them the forms to complete, and discuss strategies for managing within their permit.


In total, over 120 people attended the 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. workshops.
The workshops walked the participants through the permit and discussed what was required to be monitored with records kept on site and what was required to be reported to DNR Field Offices.

Participates received a notebook that included:

The checklists provided a quick and easy to follow management framework for both recording and reporting requirements in a permit.  The key was to ensure that the recording and reporting process become as routine as other management assignments.

The participants were provided a set of forms to use in their operation.  These same forms were also made available as word documents for downloading from the internet and could be tailored to specific needs of the permit holder.

Participants were also provided an outline for developing a Nutrient Management Plan.  In Iowa, the NMP must be developed, approved and implemented by July 31, 2007.

At the end of the day participants had a much better understanding of their responsibilities under their NPDES Permit.  They had a checklist of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual activities to monitor and record and the forms to use.  The measure of success of the workshop will be how effectively participants manage their operations to stay in compliance with their permits.    

June 26, 2007
140  Iowa Beef Center


Page last updated: August 2, 2007
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,