An aerial photo of Threemile Canyon Farms, Oregon's largest dairy.

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission has rejected a petition asking it to begin regulating air pollution from large dairies, saying the state doesn’t have the resources, or enough information, to create such a regulatory program.

Commissioners asked the state Department of Environmental Quality to continue studying the issue and report back to them within a year.

The petition was filed last August by 22 advocacy groups, which want Oregon to declare large dairies sources of air pollution, just like factories.

Recent research from the lead petitioner, Food & Water Watch, found Oregon’s mega dairies collectively release more than 17 million kilograms of methane each year, equivalent to the emissions from 318,000 cars.

Large dairies, or confined animal feeding operations, also emit ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and particulate matter, all of which can cause health problems in people.





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