Release 08-10
February 13, 2008

    Dimitri Stanich
State seeks tech to improve environmental footprint of dairies
Will create online resource for farmers and public

SACRAMENTO: The state of California is asking companies to submit their technologies for mitigating the environmental impacts from the state's estimated 2,100 dairies.

If accepted, state regulators will include the technologies in a clearinghouse that the Air Resources Board and other agencies will use when looking for the best ways to stem air and water pollution from these sources.

The effort is headed by the Dairy Manure Technology Feasibility Assessment Panel which is funded by the U.S. EPA and is comprised of experts from government, industry, academia, and environmental groups. The panel wants technology that reduces water quality impacts and emissions of greenhouse gases and criteria air pollutants. Vendors are urged to submit descriptions of their product which will be reviewed and compiled to create a clearinghouse.

"This will give dairy farmers expert and objective reviews of technology they need," said Air Resources Board Chairman, Mary Nichols, "It will serve the public and industry equally well."

Dairies are an integral part of California's economy. California houses approximately 18 percent of the nation's dairy population and produces nearly 22 percent of the nation's milk. But, California also endures the damage of uncontrolled emissions and runoff. New effective technologies are available to improve the environmental performance of dairies, and the panel seeks to advance the most promising technology categories.

Vendors with known dairy-applicable technologies are most strongly encouraged to submit theirs. Vendors of more generic environmental technologies are encouraged to evaluate theirs for application to the dairy industry. The forum's intent is focused on:

Select vendors with highly promising technology may be invited to make presentations at meetings summarizing their technology's environmental benefits balanced against undesirable consequences. The number of submissions and possible presentations at meetings will depend on the response rate, completeness of the applications, and relative environmental benefits of the technology submitted.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.