CA: Thinking about CDQAP Certification? Now is the Time to Certify and Save Money

Denise Mullinax, Assistant Director, CDQAP

Nearly 800 dairy facilities throughout the state are CDQAP Environmentally Certified. There are many benefits for producers who take this step to demonstrate their environmental commitment to their neighbors, their processor, and beyond. Benefits include an improved understanding of regulatory requirements and scientifically-proven, cost-effective practices, “peace of mind” of compliance via a dairy-friendly on-farm evaluation without risk of regulatory enforcement, and a 50% reduction in annual water quality permit fees (currently valued at $250- $6,500 per year depending on size).

With your 2017 Annual Report complete, summer irrigation underway, and the weather still warm, now is the perfect window to complete certification. The deadline is September 30th to be eligible for a 50% discount on state water quality permits for 2018-2019. Evaluations are scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis, so we encourage you to make your request right away.

The voluntary certification program is an easy, three-step process:


  • Complete classes (6 hours of water quality and 2 hours of air quality).
  • Complete required record-keeping documentation for water and air quality.
  • Complete an on-farm, third-party evaluation.

CDQAP classes are led by UC Cooperative Extension with support from dairy processors and trade organizations. The “one-stop-shopping” style classes provide current, need-to-know information, help with regulatory record-keeping and reporting, and the latest scientific assessment of manure management options. Classes can be completed online (year-round) or in-person (once per year). Both education classes and evaluation checklists are region-specific. To remain certified, dairy facilities must successfully complete an on-farm evaluation once every five years, with annual monitoring and reporting check-ins. Evaluations cost $500 per facility. To learn more about CDQAP Environmental Certification, your completion status, or to schedule an evaluation, call (530) 574-0524.