DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (AP) – Southern California’s smog-fighting agency went after emissions of the bovine variety Friday, adopting the nation’s first rules to reduce air pollution from dairy cow manure.

The measure, which will be phased in beginning Dec. 1, applies to more than 300 dairies in the Chino area, which is considered to have the highest concentration of dairy cows in the nation.

Roughly 300,000 cows in dairies east of Los Angeles produce a million tons of manure each year.

The new regulation requires dairies with at least 50 cows to remove manure from corrals more frequently, and send it to a composting facility or an agricultural area where it is approved for use as a fertilizer.

It is expected to cost the industry about $3.5 million a year.

, or about $15,000 per dairy, air quality officials said. By 2010, the regulation is expected to reduce ammonia emissions by more than three tons per day and cut down on other pollutants as well.

AP-ES-08-07-04 0025EDT

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