Dairy Digester Program Environmental Impact Report
Dairy manure digester and co-digester products can generate usable methane, a renewable energy resource, and also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. California's Central Valley is home to 1,400 dairies with about 1.6 million cows. Dairy digesters will directly advance California's major environmental goals of reducing GHG emissions and generating biogas to meet the State's Renewable Portfolio Standard goals.
ESA successfully assisted the Central Valley Regional Water Board with interagency coordination and preparation of a program environmental impact report (PEIR), evaluating manure digestion and co-digestion facilities on individual dairies, on groups of dairies linked by gas collection systems, and at centralized locations within the Central Valley. The program may result in a reduction of 1.6 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions per year. State and local agencies that worked with the regional water board to develop the PEIR included the State Water Resources Control Board, California Air Resources Board, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
Meeting an aggressive schedule, ESA's work evaluated the impacts of digestion and co-digestion facilities throughout the Central Valley forming the Central Valley Water Board General Order for Dairy Digesters, a base document that works to reduce the time required to permit dairy digester products by at least 75%.