Inspectors from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and the U.S. EPA recently checked out all of the state’s large permitted dairy farms — those with 700 mature cows or more — and didn’t find a single environmental violation.

The state has launched an aggressive program to detect manure discharges to state waters. The goal is to prevent problems before they happen.

As such, the visits occurred as Vermont crafts its regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations.

However, some legislators expressed concern that the inspections were carried out during a dry summer, meaning that violations were less likely.

But ag officials insist that the inspections — part of a new partnership between the ANR and the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Foods and Markets — were a significant success. And that the action lay the foundation for future environmental protection.

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus