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Open-File Report 00-204

Effects of Animal Feeding Operations on Water Resources and the Environment--Proceedings of the technical meeting, Fort Collins, Colorado, August 30 – September 1, 1999

By Franceska D. Wilde, Linda J. Britton, Cherie V. Miller, and Dana W. Kolpin, Compilers


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The evolution of animal agriculture to meet the needs of a rapidly growing world population is evidenced by a consistent trend toward the replacement of small-to-midsize animal farms with large, industrial-scale animal feeding operations (AFOs) that maximize the number of livestock confined per acre of land. Confinement of large numbers of animals in such operations can result in large loadings of animal feed- and waste-related substances (animal residuals) to the environment. The consequences of waste-management practices at AFOs on ecosystem viability and human health are poorly understood. Potential effects of AFOs on the quality of surface water, ground water, and air, and the implications of such effects on human health pose issues of national concern that require science-based assessment and response.

As part of the 1999 Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding developed under mandate of the Clean Water Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, together with other Federal partners, were directed to "establish coordinated research, technical innovation, and technology transfer activities…." On August 30 – September 1, 1999, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated a meeting of scientists, resource managers, animal producers, and environmental advocates to share information on current research and examine the complex issues related to effects of AFOs on water resources, the environment, and human health. There was consensus at the outset regarding the need for impartial examination of AFO issues, applying multidiscipline and science-based methods of research, monitoring, analysis, and quality control. Participants discussed and identified partnerships among governmental agencies and private organizations as part of a commitment to address these issues in a comprehensive and scientifically defensible manner.

Present at this technical meeting were approximately 200 participants representing the following Federal and State agencies, universities, and private organizations.

Fosted June 2010

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Suggested citation:

Wilde, F.D., Britton, L.J., Miller, C.V., and Kolpin, D.W., comps., 2000, Effects of animal feeding operations on water resources and the environment--proceedings of the technical meeting, Fort Collins, Colorado, August 30- September 1, 1999: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-204, 107 p.



Peer Review Process




Keynote Session

Topical Session A: Integration of Environmental Policy and Science

Topical Session B: Human Health and Air and Water Quality

Topical Session C: Pathogens

Topical Session D: Pharmaceuticals

Topical Session E: Nutrients

Poster Session

Forum Session: Open Exchange Among Participants

Author Index

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