Despite California’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 years, regulators refuse to issue permits for dairy digesters. Regulators are saying that dairy digesters create pollution.

Air regulators are concerned with nitrogen oxides or NOx which are emitted by the generators that convert methane into electricity. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, NOx contributes to the state’s smog problem. NOx levels for the California San Joaquin Valley are federally set and officials in the San Joaquin Valley say it is their job to enforce these rules.

According to the article, air officials say they are just doing their jobs combating smog and they will choose NOx over reducing greenhouse gases every time.

John Fiscalini, a dairy farmer from Modesto, Calif., and Ron Koetsier, a dairy farmer from Visalia, Calif., have both learned first hand about the regulatory hurdles facing digesters.

Fiscalini’s digester is still operating; he has spent more than $4 million to build the digester and purchase filtering equipment to meet the air board’s limits. Koetsier’s digester is currently shut down; his digester was one of six dairy digesters shut down because of regulatory or financial problems.

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Watch Cow power featured on CBS to learn more about Fiscalini's digester.

Source: Los Angeles Times