Proposing New Regulations
Washington Department of Ecology is proposing new regulations that would require almost all dairies to get a water quality permit. Dan Wood, Executive Director, Washington State Dairy Federation talks about the proposal.
WOOD: The proposal as it stands right now would require every animal operation with a lagoon to get a permit from ecology to operate unless they had their lagoon double synthetically lined and that’s very few operations that meet that. They have 35 foot fence buffer for grazing, 100 foot buffer, maybe down to 35 feet for field applications with could be devastating to a lot of operations. And there’s extensive testing before applying nutrients to fields and that could be very expensive as well.
He says there are a number of other operational things that would actually just be bad management practices. Wood says they are working on some alternatives that would actually work for producers.
WOOD: So what we’re looking for outcome is something that is scientifically based and economically affordable and if we meet those two criteria we’ll embrace it.
Ecology is seeking comments.
WOOD: They need comments by September 18th and then they’ll put something out there for more comments and a hearing after that, so there’ll be a second round after this. As they have it now a lot of operations would go out of business because they wouldn’t be able to afford the permit.
And that’s Washington Ag Today. I’m Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.