New strategy to address water pollution
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Virginia Department Of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) will carry out a new approach to address water pollution on small farms that raise livestock and poutlry in confined areas.
It is billed as an alternative to more state regulations. Each farm will be evaluated individually, and solutions will be developed that are tailored to water problems on that farm. Approaches will be based on best management practices.
The program was piloted in the Shenandoah Valley on six farms.
Participation in the program is voluntary. DEQ estimates that there are potentially 800 farms in Virginia that meet the program's criteria. The animals must be confined, and fed for at least 45 days in a 12-month period. Crops and vegetation must not be supported in the growing season.
The Virginia Dairymen's Association has lent its support.
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