EPA drops proposed livestock farm reporting rule

By the Associated Press | July 13, 2012 | 9:36 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency won't adopt a proposed rule that would have required large livestock farms to report information about their operations.

The EPA announced late Friday that it instead would collect information on concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, from other state, local and federal sources.

Some of the largest CAFOs have tens of thousands of animals and generate more sewage than many cities but aren't required to tell the EPA how much waste they're generating or how it's handled.

The EPA agreed to propose the rule as part of a settlement agreement with environmental groups that said the agency doesn't have enough information to carry out its duties under the Clean Water Act.

Industry groups had threatened to sue if the rule was adopted.