Dairy Operators Challenge Pollution Calculation

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(Modesto, CA)
Wednesday, August 3, 2005

After reviewing numerous studies, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has determined that dairy cows emit considerably more smog-producing gases than previously thought. In fact, regulators say cows contribute more to air pollution than motor vehicles.

Dairy industry officials say if the new standards are adopted, larger farms might have to spend as much as one million dollars on pollution control measures.

Michael Marsh of Modesto-based, Western United Dairymen says the additional costs could result in many farmers relocating.

"It does make farmers tend to think, well maybe I should take my jobs and move out of state."

Dairy organizations say the science that the new assessment is based on is flawed and they're going to lobby regulators to reconsider their decision.
The dairy industry in California generates about five billion dollars a year.