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EPA can’t regulate livestock farms it can’t find
Pollution » The agency lacks information as basic as how many waste-producing farms even existed.

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But to address such problems, "you have to find them," Yurdin said. He estimated there are 3,500 CAFOs in Illinois, though his department isn’t sure, and that the state inspects about 200 per year.

Devine said it all adds up to a messy situation.

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"EPA passed up an efficient, uniform, and accurate mechanism for obtaining needed information ... and opted instead for a messy, time-consuming, and surely incomplete process," he said.

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