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Abstract

In 1978, the County of Stanislaus took a proactive stance on the issue of food processing by-product by developing the Stanislaus County Food Processing By-Product Use Program (Program). This program allows food processors to take their by-products to local agricultural producers, who in turn reuse the by-products by feeding it to their livestock or spreading it across their fields as a soil amendment. Since its inception the county has reported that over 6 million tons of by-products have been reused by agricultural producers and consequently diverted from local landfills. Within the last couple of years, the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) has brought concerns to Stanislaus County that this program may pose a risk to the county’s surface and ground water resources. The RWQCB proposed that program participants implement several new levels of product and environmental monitoring. Program participants believe that the current program is environmentally sound and that additional monitoring may be unnecessary.

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