Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Idaho Environmental Guide for Local Governments: Special Environmental Concerns

Concentrated (or Confined) Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

Concentrated (or confined) animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are agricultural facilities that house and feed a large number of animals in a confined area for 45 days or more during any 12-month period. These animals are typically cows, hogs, chickens, or turkeys. The Idaho State Department of Agriculture can assist counties in conducting a CAFO siting process. Learn more.

Construction Activities

Disturbances of soil and rock during construction can create the potential for erosion and sedimentation of nearby canals, streams, rivers, and lakes. Learn more.

Emergency Response

Successful emergency response requires planning for situations that may cause immediate and serious harm to people or the environment. Potential emergency response situations include spills and accidents involving oil and hazardous materials, air pollution events, and drinking water contamination. Learn about reporting procedures here.


Pesticide-laden water can travel through soil to ground water or run off to surface water. Learn more.


Two types of ponds local governments should be aware of include gravel pit ponds, which have a high potential of affecting ground water quality because water can move rapidly through gravel and sand and thus carry pollutants to ground water, and aesthetic water use ponds, which include ponds located in golf courses or subdivisions. Learn more.

Salvage Yards

Salvage yards conduct activities that can potentially emit air pollutants into the atmosphere and, therefore, may be regulated by state and federal regulations. Such activities can include the use of waste oil burners, refrigerant evacuation, open burning, and odors generated from residual fuel handling. Learn more.