“Way back in 2017, the environmental group Food & Water Watch, alongside other advocacy groups, petitioned the EPA for strengthened regulatory oversight of large livestock farms, often called concentrated animal feeding operations. Specifically, the groups want the EPA to adopt stricter water pollution regulations and require more permits for CAFOs under the Clean Water Act. In April, the EPA reached a settlement with the groups that it would respond to the petition by Aug. 15 after FWW sued for unreasonable delay. It will be the first time the agency will seriously examine water regulations for CAFOs in over a decade, according to FWW. While states handle some of the regulation around CAFOs, advocates say the EPA is well-positioned to set higher national standards for permitting and regulating water pollution. States must meet the EPA’s minimum requirements, but the current regulatory scheme has allowed many states to inadequately regulate waste management and water pollution mitigation, these groups say… CAFOs have largely evaded any regulation under the Clean Water Act, according to FWW, which has allowed the operations to release vast quantities of manure, impacting drinking water, air quality and nearby communities. In Iowa, for example, CAFOs produced 68 times the fecal waste the state’s 3.15 million residents produced, according to a 2020 study…How the EPA, which deferred comment to the Justice Department, will act is still unclear.”