EPA Finalizes New Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Meat and Poultry Industry

by 5m Editor
2 March 2004, at 12:00am

US - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) late last week finalized a Clean Water Act rule prescribing additional wastewater treatment requirements at meat and poultry slaughtering and processing facilities.

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The “Meat and Poultry Processing Effluent Limitation Guidelines“ (ELG) establishes new numerical limitations, technology requirements, and management practices for direct discharging, processing plants. Specifically, the rule establishes nitrogen limits for red meat of 134 monthly and 194 daily maximum and for poultry 103 monthly and 147 daily maximum. For red meat and poultry the ammonia limits are 4 monthly and 8 daily maximum. The new rule does not affect indirect-discharging plants.

EPA proposed the rule in January 2002. AMI, as part of a coalition of meat and poultry industry organizations, has worked since then to demonstrate to EPA the industry’s engineering capabilities in wastewater treatment technologies and examined EPA’s treatment goals and calculated associated costs.

The overall impact of the new ELG limits on the meat and poultry industry is unclear. Although the final rule is different from the proposal and more consistent with the industry’s technological capabilities, the new limits may result in some operations incurring some additional costs to install new treatment technology and for modified permitting requirements. The final rule will likely be published in the Federal Register in upcoming weeks. An EPA Fact Sheet regarding the final rule can be found on EPA’s Office of Water website at

Source: American Meat Institute (AMI) - 1st March 2004

5m Editor