Letters to the Editor

Dairy pollution

Without both water and air this earth is in bad shape. The Regional Water Quality Control Board, in a 1995 report, determined that individually and cumulatively, dairies pose a significant threat to surface water and groundwater.

Dairies in our Valley generate more waste than the entire human population of Texas each year. Even well-run dairies contaminate groundwater, and many times surface water. The safe drinking water level of nitrates as nitrogen is 10 milligrams per liter. Dairies of 1,000 cows averaged 59.8 mg/l -- almost six times the safe level. Larger dairies produce higher levels.

The American Lung Association's "State of the Air" 2006 report (April 2006) says volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides are really bad. VOCs and nitrogen oxides mix in the presence of sunlight and heat to produce smog. Dairies are the largest source of VOCs in the Valley, out-polluting cars, oil and gas production, and pesticides.

We are one of the most polluted regions in the whole nation. What are our city and county going to do about it?

William R. Milton Sr.