Washington The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tougher requirements Friday on thousands of large animal feedlot operations, declaring that they are one of the country's chief causes of water pollution.
The proposed regulation, which will depend on decisions made by the Bush administration, would expand the number of cattle feedlots and hog farms that would have to get pollution permits. It also imposes new pollution control requirements on large poultry operations.
EPA Assistant Administrator Walter Charles Fox said that large factory farms are "among the greatest threats to our nation's waters and drinking water supplies" because of the large amounts of manure they produce in concentrated areas.
Some environmentalists criticized the EPA proposal as not going far enough to clean up large hog, poultry and cattle farms. For example, they said, the EPA proposal stopped short of banning the use of open lagoons for wastes. It also allows for continued spraying of manure on fields as fertilizer.