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Release Date: 11/10/1998
Contact Information: Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578

     (San Francisco) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced it will hold meetings on November 23 and 24 in Ontario and Visalia, Calif., to answer questions and listen to concerns about U.S. EPA's and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) draft Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations.  The strategy, released in early October, seeks to minimize water quality and public health risks associated with animal feeding operations.  

     All interested parties are invited to attend one of the two "listening sessions."  Each will begin with a brief overview of the strategy, but will devote most of the meeting time to answering questions and listening to concerns.  The agencies hope to hear from a wide range of perspectives including environmental groups, commodity and farm groups, communities, the general public, and State, local and Tribal governments.

     The sessions will each begin at 1:00 p.m. with registration and speaker sign-up.  Presentations start at 1:30 p.m., and the sessions are expected to conclude by 4:30 p.m.  The dates and locations are:
Monday, November 23, 1998                     Tuesday, November 24, 1998
Doubletree Hotel                              Visalia Convention Center
222 North Vineyard Ave                        303 East Acequia
Ontario, California                           Visalia, California
     The full text of the draft strategy is available on two Internet sites:        

     Anyone who has questions about the meetings, or who needs a paper copy of the draft strategy should contact Virginia Donohue at (415) 744-2275.  Written comments on the strategy are also invited.  These should be sent by January 19, 1999, to:

               Denise C. Coleman, USDA, NRCS
               P.O. Box 2890
               Washington DC 20012-2890

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