Using spatial analysis to determine the proximity of concentrated animal feedlot operations to watershed pollution in Tennessee

Kathleen R McDermott, Tennessee State University

Abstract

River pollution in Tennessee can be a major threat to all citizens in the state. In 2008, at least 42 pollutants were found in Tennessee rivers, and it has been proposed that Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations (CAFOs) are a main source of pollution. CAFOs are farms where the animals are confined to a small area and do not graze on a pasture or field. It is the maximum amount of animals in the minimum amount of space for large production to consumers. The relatively high numbers of feedlots, which are usually found in clusters, further support their role in pollutant deposition. ^ This project applied Geospatial Information Science to identify the existence of polluted stream segments inside 0.5 mile, 1.0 mile, 2.0 mile, and 5.0 mile watershed buffers around the concentrated animal feedlot operations in Tennessee. The objectives of the study were to develop a geospatial information system for proximity analysis of concentrated animal feeding operations and polluted stream segments and to determine whether the locations of stream pollutants may be correlated with locations of concentrated animal feeding operations in Tennessee. ^ Data obtained from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) were analyzed with new GIS protocols developed for this project. The analyses performed in this project demonstrated that, based on proximity of CAFOs to polluted stream segments, CAFOs did not appear to be a major contributing source of pollutants in Tennessee waterways.^

Subject Area

Geodesy|Agriculture, General|Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Kathleen R McDermott, "Using spatial analysis to determine the proximity of concentrated animal feedlot operations to watershed pollution in Tennessee" (2010). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1480324.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI1480324

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