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California Dairy Quality Assurance Program Environmental Stewardship Certification

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  054091,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19500) @2005
Authors:   Deanne Meyer, Michael A. Payne, John Menke, Lynn Kuo, Paul E. Martin, D. Denise Mullinax, George Salsa, Allen Dusault, J.P. Cativiela
Keywords:   Dairy manure, environmental audit, certification

The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program Environmental Stewardship Partnership consists of 17 groups, agencies, organizations, and academia. Quarterly meetings are held to improve communications between regulatory agency staff and industry representatives. This voluntary program strives to improve the environment. Compliance through education is the primary objective of the program. Resources from the dairy industry, Federal and State sources, academia, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are leveraged to improve producer understanding of environmental regulatory obligations. The program includes classroom teaching, technical assistance, and independent third party evaluations. Environmental Stewardship courses and short courses address compliance issues. The water short course addresses facilities and infrastructure, liquid and solid manure holding capacity, emergency management plans, pollution prevention plans, risk assessment, and an introduction to nutrient management. Once individual Regional Water Quality Control Boards adopt new permits to implement the CAFO rule the short course will be modified to address new requirements. The final Nutrient Management Plan for California will most probably be far more detailed than the requirements identified in the CAFO Rule. Primary environmental problems are nitrate and salt contamination of groundwater. Elevated P concentrations may be a particular concern in some fields but in general, are not a key concern to water regulatory agencies. The air course addressed regulatory concerns, risk assessment, completion of permit application (Title V) and completion of Conservation Management Practices document if needed (2004). On farm evaluations are conducted by individuals working for the Department of Food and Agriculture who are additionally trained in environmental issues. Producers with facilities that are in compliance with Federal, State and Local regulations can certify in Environmental Stewardship and receive a 50% reduction in water permit fees.

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