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State to inspect large dairy farms

MONTPELIER —Two top state agencies will jointly inspect the state's largest dairy farms in an effort to help them meet federal Clean Water Act standards.

The agencies of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Food and Markets will being the inspections in late May. Officials from both agencies will work with farmers to address discharges, correct deficiencies in pollution control and to ensure they comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.

"The state's farms are a crucial part of our landscape, and we want to help them continue to be good stewards of Vermont's natural resources," said George Crombie, secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. "With this unprecedented cooperation between ANR and the Agency of Agriculture, the farmers will know where they stand relative to meeting federal and state standards in a timely and efficient way."

The agencies will inspect the 19 farms that are classified as Large Farm Operations — dairy farms with more than 750 dairy cows. The farms will be notified this month of the upcoming inspections, and will be given details about the scope and purposes of the agencies' visits. The inspections should be completed by June 15.

"This inspection program will assist farms to continue to comply with federal EPA standards. This collaboration between the Agency of Agriculture and the Agency of Natural Resources will help farms stay in business by providing options to onerous legal proceedings," said Roger Allbee, the state’s agriculture secretary. "We have a long history of coordinating with the farm community on conservation and environmental issues and Vermont is at the forefront nationally in meeting compliance standards."

Federal officials will inspect four of the state's large dairy farms later this year. The goal of the state effort is to help Vermont's farmers comply with federal regulations. Any discharges, deficiencies or problem areas will be discussed with the farm's owners or operators at the conclusion of the inspection, state officials said.

Mountain Lake PBS station’s tower collapses

PLATTSBURGH, NY — Mountain Lake Public Television’s 400-foot tower collapsed this week, partially damaging the transmitter building at its base. The cause of the collapse is unknown.

The tower is located on Lyon Mountain in Saranac. The damage was so extensive that it cannot be repaired, but must be replaced.

“It is completely torn off its base and is not salvageable in any way,” said Charlie Zarbo, the station’s engineering director.

Mountain Lake PBS broadcasts educational and informational programming 24 hours a day on analog Channel 57 and digital Channel 38. The viewers affected by the damages include:

Adelphia Cable 14 (Tri-Lakes, NY)
Time-Warner 12 (Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Port Henry, NY)
Time-Warner 10 (Champlain/Chazy area, NY)
Time-Warner 8 (Malone/Massena/Potsdam area, NY)
Small Cities Cable 7 (Shelburne/Vergennes area in VT)
Comcast Cable 14 (Burlington area, VT) TCI Cable 8 (St. Albans area, VT)
Videotron 24/46 (Montreal, Quebec) 20 (Quebec City, Quebec)
Transvision 14 (Granby, Quebec)
Rogers Cogeco 19 (Hawkesbury Ontario)
Translator Channel 25 (Tupperlake, NY)
Translator Channel 67 (Willsboro, NY)
Translator Channel 25 (Monkton, VT)
Translator Channel 60 (Addison, VT)

Mountain Lake continues to deliver programming over Charter Communications cable system (Cable 7), servicing the Clinton County, NY area.

Mountain Lake plans to rebuild. The public television station is mobilizing all of its resources to minimize the time that the station is off the air, and will keep viewers updated as information becomes available.

Posted April 20, 2007

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