Public concerns about the possible health effects of air emissions from dairy operations have grown with the increasing size and geographic concentration of these operations. This intensification has been driven by the economics of domestic and export markets for dairy products.
Emissions from dairies are a significant concern, not only for new residents in these areas, but for many long-time residents. There is a lack of reliable methodologies for estimating emissions from dairies. However, the implementation of technically and economically feasible management practices designed to decrease emissions should not be delayed.
Best management practices aimed at mitigating air emissions from dairies should continue to be improved and applied as new information is developed on the character, amount and dispersion of these air emissions and on their health and environmental effects.
In June this year citizens voiced concerns about the effects of emissions from dairies to the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency (YRCAA) Board of Directors.
As a result the Board directed staff to address these concerns. In July this year staff proposed a policy-making process aimed at identifying and implementing best management policies at dairy operations in YRCAA's jurisdiction.
The Board approved the process and a work group was formed to develop a policy for Board approval.
Scientific research, local dairy operator expertise and local dairy technical service provider expertise were consulted in the process.
A draft policy document has been developed and is now available for public comment and peer agency review on the YRCAA's website at www.yakimacleanair.org.