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Livestock Agriculture For A Healthy Environment

12 April 2011

US - Bion Environmental Technologies has announced that it believes its partnership with Kreider Farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is an example of how agriculture will be a leader in helping solve the nation's environmental challenges. Bion made this announcement in response to an April 6th petition, filed on behalf of several environmental groups, urging the US EPA to issue a national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ammonia gas.

The Bion/Kreider Farms project will demonstrate that the choice is not simply between "clean air, water and a healthy environment or CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations).

This 1200 cow dairy project will demonstrate that livestock agriculture, including CAFOs, can operate in a manner that is consistent with clean air, water and a healthy environment. A CAFO, properly managed, can operate as a necessary and productive element of our economy, generating safe environmental impacts.

The Bion/Kreider project will show a significant (over 75 per cent) reduction of ammonia from the dairy's 1200 cows. These nitrogen reductions will be based upon measurements taken in accordance with an approved verification plan. They will result in verified credits for nitrogen reductions to the Chesapeake Bay, due in large part to the reductions of ammonia at Kreider Farms.

Bion's mass balance measurements will include the nitrogen components that exist in the livestock waste stream and are lost to the environment PRIOR to application to cropland. This is substantially different than the present measurement approach that only considers the nitrogen that is applied to the cropland.

Bion's facility will both define the extent of the total nitrogen releases to the water run-off system, including ammonia, and provide the technology to mitigate the releases at their livestock source.

Bion's project at Kreider Farms, a voluntary effort on the part of all the various stakeholder groups, demonstrates that a cost effective solution to the environmental impacts associated with livestock waste is possible.

This $7.8 million project was financed by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority after a thorough review process by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Bion has met with the US EPA and has had a continuing dialogue with various environmental groups, such as PennFuture, to provide a transparent understanding of the project and its goals. The project is a part of Pennsylvania's overall response to the Chesapeake Bay mandate.

While the results of this partnership represent a victory for both the farm and the environment, the real winner associated with the project will be the Pennsylvania taxpayer.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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