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Water: Aquaculture

Aquaculture

OVERVIEW

Aquatic Animal Production Facility

Aquaculture is the culture or husbandry of marine or freshwater plants or animals. “Aquatic animals” means all life stages of fish, mollusks and crustaceans. Aquaculture is undertaken in a variety of ways, including: fish hatcheries, raceways, ponds, or recirculating systems; floating or submersible net pens or cages; and bag, rack or suspended shellfish culture.

Aquaculture Projects and Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production (CAAP) are subject to NPDES permits, per 40 CFR 122.24(a) and 122.25(a). Not all facilities are required to have NPDES coverage under the regulations. NPDES permits are needed for discharges associated with:

Aquaculture Projects - An aquaculture project means a "defined managed water area which uses discharges of pollutants into that designated area for the maintenance or production of harvestable freshwater estuarine or marine plants or animals." 40 CFR 122.25.

Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production Facilities (CAAP) - CAAP means a "hatchery, fish farm, or other facility" which is designated by EPA per 40 CFR 122.24, or which satisfies the following criteria, found in 40 CFR 122 Appendix C:

  1. Facilities raising cold water fish species or other cold water aquatic animals in ponds, raceways, or other similar structures which discharge at least 30 days per year, but does not include:    
         
    1. Facilities which produce less 9.090 harvest weight kilograms (20,000 pounds) of aquatic animals per year; and
    2.    
    3. Facilities which feed less than 2,272 kilograms (5,000 pounds) of food during the calendar month of maximum feeding.
    4.    
  2. Warm water fish species or other warm water aquatic animals in ponds, raceways, or other similar structures which discharge at least 30 days per year, but does not include:    
         
    1. Closed ponds which discharge only during periods of excess runoff; or
    2.    
    3. Facilities which produce less than 45,454 harvest weight kilograms (100,000 pounds) of aquatic animals per year.
    4.    

In addition, effluent guidelines have been developed for CAAP facilities producing 100,000 pounds or more of aquatic animals per year. 40 CFR 451

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