Tell the CA State Water Control Board to Impose Waste Treatment Regulations on CAFOs!

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CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) are found by many studies worldwide to contribute to soil, water, and air pollution. Many studies have also found a higher incidence of illnesses in the neighboring communities such as asthma, respiratory problems, and even high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke.

The animals in CAFOs are fed with a grain diet and are given antibiotics to prevent illness and synthetic hormones to promote growth. These antibiotics along with other chemicals such as arsenic are dumped into the soil and pollute the soil and water nearby. Antibiotics are given to these animals also greatly contribute to antibiotic resistance, which increases the risk of widespread epidemic. A study found that in the United States CAFOs produce about 317 million gallons of manure each year (Pandey, 2014). CAFOs store manure in lagoons and watersheds that are at risk of spillage with storms or rainfall, which produces runoff. "In 1995 an eight-acre lagoon ruptured, spilling 22 million gallons of manure into North Carolina’s New River, killing millions of fish and other organisms" (Wendee, 2013, p. 186). 

CAFOs settle in cheap lands with neighboring minority communities with low socioeconomic status. This situation results in environmental injustice for minority populations as they are disproportionately affected (Wendee, 2013, p. 183).

Human sewage is treated and filtered before being released into the environment, but there are no regulations for the treatment of waste from CAFOs. The treatment of animal waste is essential to improve and protect the health and safety of individuals living in communities near CAFOs across California. Tell the California State Water Resources Control Board to impose waste treatment regulations on CAFOs!


Pandey, P., Soupir, M., & Ikenberry, C. (2014). Modelling animal waste pathogen transport from agricultural land to streams. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 19(1), 6.

Wendee Nicole. (2013). CAFOs and Environmental Justice: The Case of North Carolina. Environmental Health Perspectives (Online), 121(6), A182.

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