The current proposal on the table in the California legislature would have dairies pay an annual wastewater fee the same as sewage treatment plants and other businesses do.

Just three short weeks ago dairy industry leaders and San Joaquin Valley lawmakers convinced budget committee members not to impose the annual fee on dairy producers. However, last week an amendment that would charge confined animal feeding operations up to $35,00 per year for an annual wastewater fee passed in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. The move was not totally unexpected as the state is struggling to find ways to make up for huge budget deficit.

The amendment gives the State Water Resources Control Board the authority to charge an annual wastewater discharge fee to all confined animal feeding operations.

The proposed fees are opposed by the Western United Dairymen, the Milk Producers Council, the Alliance of Western Milk Producers, the California Farm Bureau Federation, the California Poultry Federation, the California Cattlemen's Association and the Agricultural Council.

Western United Dairymen