WHO IS RIGHT AND WHO IS WRONG?
On March 21, 2019 anti-dairy activist Jean Mendoza responded to our information about manure lagoons and residential septic systems with a very detailed explanation of why she thinks we are wrong. She also asked that we publish her response on our website.
We agreed to publish along with our interlined comments of where she gets the story wrong. Here is the complete document and our response.
We encourage those interested to read the details, but for those who want to skip to the bottom line it is this: Mendoza is having a hard time understanding the difference between nitrogen and nitrate-nitrogen. It is nitrate that plants need to grow, but it is also nitrate that is a controversial concern when too much is in groundwater. Septic systems facilitate conversion of the nitrogen in the waste to nitrate by design, while manure lagoons are designed to prevent loss and minimize conversion of nitrogen in the manure to nitrate.
HOW DID THE EPA GET THE SCIENCE SO WRONG ABOUT NITRATE LEVELS AND DAIRY FARMS?
The first way the EPA got the science wrong about the source of nitrate in Yakima’s water is their “failure” to include a real peer review. EPA and federal policy all mandate such a review when the information generated is to be used for enforcement or for policy purposes.
Had they done an actual peer review, rather than intentionally limiting the opportunity for legitimate reviewers to actually see what they produced and how they produced it, it is almost certain that the study and report never would have seen the light of day.
Since it did, a very impressive list of industry experts, scientists, academicians and others reviewed the study and report and found it not just faulty, but false and even falsified.
Falsified means that there was intent.
We encourage everyone to read the critiques and determine if you believe this is legitimate science or if the EPA falsified their study to justify the conclusions they wanted to reach.
Read the critiques here.As the head of Friends of Toppenish Creek, Jean Mendoza along with a few friends, have long criticized Eastern Washington dairy farms. The main issue is nitrate contamination of ground water. Save Family Farming, affiliated with Eastern Washington Family Farmers, published information comparing septic systems (referred to as Onsite Sewage Systems, OSS) to manure lagoons.
This information prompted Ms. Mendoza to threaten dairy farmers with exposure over what she considered “lies” and “stupidity.”
Jean Mendoza and Jim Dyjak reacted angrily to our information about septic systems and lagoons. Here’s what they said and our response:
We provide their letters here and our response.
DO MANURE LAGOONS LEAK? MORE IMPORTANT: DO THEY POLLUTE GROUND WATER?
The few anti-dairy activists in Yakima continue to insist that dairy lagoons are a primary problem. Along with the litigation industry that works so hard to earn huge legal fees by suing our dairy farms, they say that lagoons pollute groundwater and that this pollution puts the health of many at risk. Neither the health claims nor the claims of lagoon pollution are true.
Watch this short video to understand how lagoons prevent contamination. And get the full story on nitrates and health risks here.
NORTHWEST PUBLIC BROADCASTING’S DISAPPOINTINGLY FALSE REPORT ON YAKIMA’S WATER QUALITY ISSUES
On December 21, 2018 Northwest Public Broadcasting broadcast and published a story on Yakima’s water issues. The story was reported by Courtney Flatt and Esmy Jimenez.
There is no direct quotation in the report that says Yakima Valley’s water quality is in crisis and the “mega dairies” are to blame. Yet, every part of the report from the photos to the introduction to the selection of quotations and materials are all designed to lead the reader to that false conclusion. Northwest Public Broadcasting is a service of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. We believe the esteemed journalist would be as distressed as family farmers are about this exercise in anti-dairy activism parading as journalism.