South Dakota dairy covers manure lagoon to control odors, greenhouse gases

White, SD — Linde Dairy has begun construction of a lagoon cover over the first stage of the dairy’s manure lagoon system to control odors and greenhouse gases. The project, the first of its kind in South Dakota, is a partnership between Linde Dairy, Environmental Credit Corp. (ECC), headquartered in Ithaca, N.Y., and Environmental Capital Management (ECM), a private hedge fund, based in Tempe, Ariz.

Through ECC’s Ag Methane Lagoon Cover Program, the cost of installing the cover system will be paid for through the creation and sale of carbon credits from the captured and destroyed methane. Carbon credits are a form of pollution credit purchased by utilities and manufactures as a way to pay for reductions of greenhouse gases at a lower cost.

Dairy producer Rein Landman milks 1,050 cows at his dairy. He sees this project as “something for the future and for taking care of the environment.” Methane contributes to the greenhouse effect at a rate 21 times greater than carbon dioxide. ECC, a world leader in the creation and monetization of carbon credits, handles all the documentation and the expenses required to create the credits, sells them in the market, and pays back the cost of the project installation. The dairy shares the revenue from the project and gets a cheap source of renewable biogas. After this has been working for some time, Landman said, “I’m interested to catch the methane and use it for the dairy.” Other benefits from the project include odor reduction, storm water protection, pest control and reduced liability.

Ed Heslop, CEO of ECC, emphasized that “our Lagoon Cover Program is designed to make methane capture available to a much larger number of farmers. Working with us, dairymen can take advantage of the existing carbon credit market to create this new environmental asset and get all the benefits while protecting their milk revenue.”

ECC works with farmers across the U.S., supplying both capital and expertise to develop and build projects that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated from common manure management practices. ECC then navigates their farm partner through the complex process of verification and certification that turns their real emission reductions into a carbon financial instrument (or carbon credits) and the revenue stream that the new financial instrument represents to the farm.