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U.S. EPA Regional Administrator recognizes certified dairy producer in Lodi
Release Date: 3/17/2004
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano (415) 947-4307
SAN FRANCISCO - Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will speak at an event at the Van Exel dairy when the California Dairy Quality Assurance Partnership officially recognizes the dairy as one of 200 who have become certified under the CDQAP program.
The EPA has committed nearly $500,000 towards the program designed to help dairies understand and comply with federal, state and local environmental rules. It educates the dairy industry about environmental requirements of farm manure management practices.
"It is important for the dairy industry to have a tool that provides education on manure management," said Wayne Nastri, EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "Certification signifies to the EPA that these producers, like the Van Exel Dairy, are serious about their role as environmental stewards."
The EPA is part of the CDQAP, a collaboration involving government agencies, the University of California at Davis, the environmental community and the dairy industry. The partnership has provided education and training to 1400 dairies, of which 200 have completed the program and been certified by CDQAP's independent third-party evaluators.
California is the nation's leading dairy state. Each cow produces about 120 pounds of manure per day. Over the last 30 years, the number of milk cows in California has increased to over 1.5 million while the number of dairies has dropped by half, to approximately 2,200. This concentration of the dairy industry has caused a corresponding increase in the amount and concentration of animal waste.
A majority of California dairies are located in the San Joaquin Valley, which faces serious challenges to air and water quality. Manure contains nutrients, salts, bacteria, and organic matter that can create environmental problems when they enter rivers, streams, or groundwater. Decomposing manure also emits air pollutants, including volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, ammonia,, methane, and odors. More efficient management and treatment of dairy manure will improve the quality of soil, air and water.
The EPA is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to further develop voluntary approaches which will include improved practices to reduce air pollution sources from dairies.
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