New and Expanding Confined Feeding Operations - Application and Approval

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Licence Information


Natural Resources Conservation Board

For Further Information Contact:

Tel: 780-422-1977 Fax: 780-427-0607

Licence Details
  The Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA), with amendments that became effective October 1, 2006, establishes regulation of Alberta's confined feeding operations. The act delegates the NRCB as the agency responsible to administer the legislation. The act requires individual producers to apply for a permit if they want to expand or construct a confined feeding operation (CFO) or manure storage facility. Producers must also comply with the requirements of the act and their permit.

Relatively large new or expanding CFOs are required to obtain an approval before commencing construction, medium sized operations are required to obtain a registration, and small operations (operations that do not meet the thresholds set out in the act) are exempt. An authorization is required to construct or expand a manure storage facility not associated with a change to livestock numbers.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is responsible for the Act, and it takes the lead role in extension services and technology transfer to the livestock industry. The Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) is responsible for administering the Act.

Three important steps in the new application and approval process are:

  • Speak to an NRCB Approval Officer before submitting an application form - NRCB Approval Officers have the knowledge of AOPA and the technical skills needed to give advice on construction and expansion plans. Knowing exactly what's needed at this stage helps ensure that the next stage will go smoothly.
  • Get technical information up-front - Without it, the application isn't complete and it cannot be considered by the approval officer. Often producers will need to get professional advice from industry consultants to produce the technical information required, and that can take time. Make sure to allow for that.
  • Submit the application early, well before the planned time for construction- Producers must not start construction before they've obtained an approval, registration or authorization.
For application forms and more detailed information on the new requirements, contact the nearest NRCB field office. Dial 310-0000 for a toll-free connection. You can also access Application forms on the NRCB website.
  • Lethbridge, Phone: (403) 381-5806
  • Red Deer, Phone: (403) 340-5599
  • Morinville, Phone (780) 939-1212
  • Fairview, Phone: (780) 835-7111
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Last Reviewed/Revised on March 6, 2018.