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EPA Guidelines for Aquacultural Effluents

Over the past several years, EPA has been reviewing the amount of nutrients and solids that are discharged into the environment by the aquaculture industry. In some cases, the agency has apparently determined that no changes in current law are necessary. However, the wastewater from recirculating, flow-through, and net pen operations will face additional regulations.

At this moment, the types of exempt operations include: Ponds, Alligator production facilities, Crawfish operations, Public Aquariums, Molluscan shellfish culture systems, Lobster pounds, and Alaskan net pen systems used by non-profit stock enhancement groups. In the case of Alligator facilities, EPA assumes that the effluent already passes through at least one lagoon and is then applied to dry land farming or forested areas. Best management practices will be required for the three types of operations covered by the new guidelines. That system requires planning, record keeping, and reporting.

For specific information, visit the EPA website at www.epa.gov/ost/guide/aquaculture/.