Sierra Club: Texas regulators not doing enough to stop dairy pollution

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The Sierra Club is taking the state of Texas to task for not doing enough to stop pollution from large dairies.

The group contends the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has failed to force large dairies to comply with laws that make it illegal to pollute waterways.

Although the group does admit some improvements have been made in curtailing dairy pollution in the North Bosque and Leon river watersheds, according to their report, "Murky Waters: Industrial Dairies and the Failure to Regulate," the changes are not happening quickly enough.

However, Texas regulators say improvements have been made noting that complaints against large dairies have dropped from 61 just two years ago to only three so far this year. In addition, the number of violations found has dropped from 245 in 2001 to 69 so far this year.

At issue is the phosphorus in animal waste, which when it enters waterways, causes excessive algae growth. And many of those waterways lead to lakes, such as Lake Waco, that supplies water for cities. When excessive algae growth occurs it can affect the taste and odor of drinking water.

To view the Sierra Club report, go to: http://www.sierraclub.org/factoryfarms/murkywaters/

Houston Chronicle



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