Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I am Cow, eating grass, methane gas comes out my...

Citizen Smash points to an...enlightening article from the LA Times: In San Joaquin Valley, Cows Pass Cars as Polluters.

California's San Joaquin Valley for some time has had the dirtiest air in the country. Monday, officials said gases from ruminating dairy cows, not exhaust from cars, are the region's biggest single source of a chief smog-forming pollutant.

Every year, the average dairy cow produces 19.3 pounds of gases, called volatile organic compounds, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said. Those gases react with other pollutants to form ground-level ozone, or smog.

With 2.5 million dairy cows — roughly one of every five in the country — emissions of almost 20 pounds per cow mean that cattle in the San Joaquin Valley produce more organic compounds than are generated by either cars or trucks or pesticides, the air district said. The finding will serve as the basis for strict air-quality regulations on the region's booming dairy industry.


"This is not some arcane dispute about cow gases," said Brent Newell, an attorney for the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment. "We are talking about a public health crisis. It's not funny to joke about cow burps and farts when one in six children in Fresno schools is carrying an inhaler."


"We need immediate regulation now. We know the pollutants are coming off these dairies," said Tom Frantz, a native of Shafter, Calif., who heads a group called the Assn. of Irritated Residents. He says that he developed asthma in the last five years as factory dairy farms moved into the region. "Ag hasn't been regulated in the past, but times are changing. Our lungs will not become an agricultural subsidy."

Wow. So California is going to require emissions standards on cows? What's next, smog testing herefords? CARB stickering Angus? This is hilarious. I think this highlights the rediculous lengths CA has gone to control "pollution." I wonder when they're going to require human mufflers for everyone who's eaten Taco Bell...


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