Dairy industry to make case for science-based emissions factor
The California dairy industry will make its case for using a science-based air emissions factor when it makes a presentation May 31 before David Crow, air pollution control officer for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The meeting at the air district office in Fresno will be the latest chapter in the industry effort to convince the district of the need to develop a sound scientific base before implementing air pollution control regulations.
On May 6, the district’s Dairy Permitting Advisory Group (DPAG) issued its final report, reflecting three different emission factors for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to be considered by the air district. Based upon a series of studies reviewed by the DPAG, dairy industry representatives, reported as Viewpoint 1, recommended a science-based emissions factor of 5.6 pounds. Air district staff recommended an emissions factor of 13.3 pounds (Viewpoint 2), while environmental representatives recommended a factor of 38.2 pounds (Viewpoint 3).
Dairy representatives were adamant about the need for science in reaching an emissions factor. “Proponents of Viewpoint 1 do not recommend that the [air district] calculate a ‘compromise’ between alternate methods recommended here,” said the industry representatives in the report. “We believe selecting a numerical value in the mid-range is not an appropriate method for resolving this disagreement. We strongly recommend that before adopting values, the Air Pollution Control Officer first examine the differences carefully and adopt the most valid, science-based approach.”
Dairy representatives will make that case strongly, said CEO Michael Marsh. “The results are clear and convincing: The actual emissions from dairy cows are significantly less than previously estimated,” he said. “We’re going to ask the air board to take the politics out of this matter and make a decision based on the overwhelming scientific evidence.”