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Board, not dairies dropping the ball

POSTED March 4, 2011 10:53 p.m.

Your coverage of Food & Water Watch's new report on groundwater contamination in the Central Valley missed the boat on a key finding: with some notable exceptions, dairies are complying with the requirement to submit data from their own wells, but Regional Water Quality Control Board staff are dropping the ball.  The most recent data the board analyzed was submitted in 2008. What's happened in the last 2.5 years? Without annual analyses of the limited data this program collects, we won't figure out if water is being protected by current rules. Electronic data submission would make this process worlds easier, but the board also needs to do their job and analyze data that they already have. 

While much can be done on the board's side to improve the program, our report emphasizes the need to deal with the tremendous economic pressure faced by dairies. Changes to federal milk pricing policy is overdue. Until midsized family dairies can make a living selling milk, they will be forced to scale up at great economic and environmental cost, or they will go out of business. Neither option serves them or consumers well. 

— Elanor Starmer
Western Region Director Food &Water Watch

 
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