SOUTH DAKOTA Department of
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Feedlot Permit Program

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)                    

Information regarding applications for permit coverage under the new reissued permit can be found at the CAFO permit checklist page.

DENR Reissues General Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced today the General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations has been reissued and is now effective.

There are 429 livestock operations covered under the existing general permit for concentrated animal feeding operations.

“While the existing permit has been successful in protecting water quality in South Dakota, those operations now have one to four years to apply for and obtain coverage under the new reissued permit,” said Kent Woodmansey, administrator of DENR’s Feedlot Permit Program. “DENR will send letters to all permitted operations with information about the process and deadlines for applying.”

Livestock operations need coverage under the general permit if they are a large concentrated animal feeding operation, or are required to obtain state permit coverage by units of local government. Producers may also voluntarily apply for and obtain permit coverage.

Large concentrated animal feeding operations confine at least 1,000 beef cattle, 700 dairy cows, 2,500 swine weighing 55 pounds or more, 10,000 swine weighing less than 55 pounds, 500 horses, 10,000 sheep, 55,000 turkeys, or 30,000 geese. Large concentrated chicken and duck operations range between 5,000 to 125,000 animals based on the type of operation and whether a liquid or solid manure containment system is used.

The content of the reissued general water pollution control permit for concentrated animal feeding operations includes:

  • state and federal requirements for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of manure management systems to protect surface and ground water quality,
  • nutrient management plan requirements to ensure that nitrogen and phosphorus in the manure are properly land applied as a fertilizer for crop production, and
  • a roadmap for livestock producers, design engineers, and crop consultants to reach environmental compliance in South Dakota.

The process to reissue the general permit for concentrated animal feeding operations began two years ago during April 2015, when DENR staff started meeting and talking informally with agricultural groups, producer groups, and other interested parties. After a statewide webinar was held, DENR public noticed a draft general permit on Oct. 8, 2015, but it was contested by 11 intervention petitions. A contested case hearing initially scheduled for December 2015 was delayed, rescheduled, and held on Sept. 27-29, 2016. Petitioners represented at the hearing included Dakota Rural Action, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Dairy Producers, South Dakota Pork Producers Council and Sonstegard Foods.

After listening to two-and-a-half days of testimony at the contested case hearing, DENR Secretary Steve Pirner, acting as hearing chairman, approved revisions and adopted a final permit. Attorneys for the DENR Feedlot Permit Program submitted to the Secretary proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Dakota Rural Action’s attorney submitted to the Secretary objections to the proposal. On March 10, 2017, the Secretary adopted final Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Parties to the hearing had 30 days to appeal the Secretary’s decision to circuit court. Since the Secretary’s final Findings were not appealed, the general water pollution control permit for concentrated animal feeding operations is reissued and in effect. 

A final copy of the permit and other documents related to the contested case proceeding is available on the DENR contested case webpage.



In South Dakota, concentrated animal feeding operations are regulated by a water pollution control permit. One of the permit requirements is that producers submit the plans for their manure management system. The plans and specifications for their system must meet Department of Environment and Natural Resources design requirements and be approved by a department engineer. For more information, contact Kent Woodmansey with the Feedlot Permit Program at (605) 773-3351.                  

The department has developed tools to assist producers in understanding the permitting process, selecting a good location for a new operation, and to answer common questions about the general permit. The department maintains a list of consultants who have indicated they provide engineering and/or geotechnical services related to the design of manure management systems. The department also maintains a list of crop consultants that can assist producers with preparing initial and annual nutrient management plans.

General Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and an application form for obtaining coverage under the permit. View and Print or Complete Online and Print

Information for New and Expanding CAFOs

Environmental Training for Livestock Producers

Nutrient Management/Manure Management Tools

CAFO FAQ's

How to file a CAFO complaint

DENR's CAFO Rules

Wet Weather Management Information

Other Educational Materials

EPA'S CAFO Rules-Notice: Clicking here will take you to EPA's website

Should you have any questions, contact Kent Woodmansey at (605) 773-3351.

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