Cows called major california polluters
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United Press International
Cows called major California polluters
Aug. 2, 2005 at 2:50PM
Officials in California's San Joaquin Valley are accusing dairy cows of being the area's biggest source of smog-forming pollutants.
In fact, the San Joaquin Valley has the nation's most polluted air and scientists say gases from dairy cows -- not exhaust from cars -- are the cause, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
The average dairy cow annually produces 19.3 pounds of gases that react with other pollutants to form ground-level ozone, or smog, experts say.
With 2.5 million dairy cows emissions of nearly 20 pounds per cow mean area cattle produce more gasses than are generated by cars or trucks, officials told the newspaper.
That means dairy farmers might have to invest millions of dollars in pollution-control technology.
But critics dispute the scientific findings.
"I'd like to challenge the people that came up with this information to enclose yourself in a shop with a cow, and at the same time have someone enclose themselves in a similar shop with a car or truck running," one critic, Steve Hofman of Ripon, Calif., wrote to the Modesto Bee. "Then let me know the results."