According to a press release, the Fresno Healthy Dairy Commission revealed its brand new TV ad on Wednesday. They hope their efforts will win new air-quality standards for mega-dairies throughout the US. They also hope that new standards will be set for the 50,000 more cows coming to Fresno County within the next five years.
The new ad focuses on how important the need for new standards on pollution. They say that the large number of cows add to the pollutants in the already polluted Southern California area.
Rev. Dave Schlicher of College Community Congregational Church said, “This advertisement is an important step in our campaign to help clean up Fresno County’s air…”we’re taking this message to the airwaves because of how crucial it is that people be aware of what’s at stake. It’s not that much to ask that our children are able to breathe cleaner air when they go outside to play.”
Right now there is a pending Fresno County ordinance that would enforce new and present dairies in the region to take specific steps in reducing air pollution from their farms. The detailed ordinance would improve the Central Valley’s air quality for the better. It would include and require covers for manure lagoons and enclosed barns and feedlots. This would not only be safer for the animals on the dairy farm and the people working there, but also for all residents living in the area. This could also cut smog emissions by 80 percent.
Mary Savala of the League of Women Voters said, “These solutions are already in use at other dairies around the country…they cost very little and they work very well. It’s time for the county to enact this measure so that our air quality won’t continue to deteriorate.”
The press release also stated that in a recent report for the commission by the California Institute for Rural Studies said that dairy-related emissions increase asthma, lung disease, respiratory problems, and pre-mature death. Everything the ordinance calls for could lower emissions problems indefinitely. The report also said that manure lagoon covers and enclosed barns and feedlots could reduce emissions and cost dairy operators throughout the Fresno County region less than three cents per gallon of milk produced. This is a large amount considering that California’s dairy industry alone pulls in around $600 million a year.
For more information on the Fresno Health Dairy Commission’s quest for cleaner air, visit www.fresnohealthydairy.org.