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Manure Defoaming Agent Guidance

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) indicates that farmers can use small amounts of used cooking oil to prevent or suppress foam in manure management.


Per NYSDEC Division of Materials Management, in accordance with 6 NYCRR 360.12(c)(3)(iv), used cooking oil* is not subject to regulation as a solid waste when used to prevent or suppress foaming in manure management at farms, provided it is not mixed with other solid waste. No more than the equivalent to two (2) 55-gallon drums of unprocessed used cooking oil may be stored at any time at a farm for this purpose. Pursuant to 360.12(c)(4)(vi), processed cooking oil (filtered and excess water removed at a used cooking oil and yellow grease processing facility) may be received in any amount and stored indefinitely for this use.

The use of small amounts of virgin vegetable oil is also an accepted practice to prevent or suppress foaming in manure management at farms, so long as it is properly handled and doesn’t create a nuisance. Virgin vegetable oil is not subject to any solid waste regulation unless it’s unused and discarded.

Based on this determination, Division of Water concludes that the provision provided in the ECL CAFO General Permit GP-0-16-001, Part III.A.8.g “Waste without Benefit” is not appliable for this specific use and the practice is allowable under the CAFO permit.

It is important to note that the use of any petroleum containing materials for this use is strictly prohibited.

*6 NYCRR 360.2(b)(297): Used cooking oil means a vegetable or animal-based oil that is generated from cooking or frying foods and is a liquid at room temperature (68 degrees Fahrenheit). Used cooking oil may contain food particles and water. Used cooking oil does not include brown grease.

Sara H. Latessa
Research Scientist 2, Division of Water
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
P: 518-402-8279 |

Kirsten Workman
Nutrient Management and Environmental Sustainability Specialist

May 23, 2022

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