Neighbors say they're breathing cow fecal matter

Neighbors say they're breathing cow fecal matter »Play Video
MOXEE, Wash. -- Jim Dyjack and his wife built their retirement home in the late 90's. Soon after, a dairy farm went up right next door.

"This is probably the dirtiest house I've ever lived in because we can't keep up with the place,” Jim said.

Jim says the dairy farm causes brown dust to settle on his cars and inside his house. Jim and many other Yakima Valley neighbors tell KIMA they're fed up with breathing it in.

"We want the odor, the dust, the fecal matter to stay across the street where it belongs,” Jim said. “I have a right to use my yard just like he has the right to use his."

Tom says he's filled over 500 complaints with Yakima's Clean Air agency but got nowhere. I spoke with Clean Air and the Department of Ecology. Both say there are currently no monitors in place in our area to test for dirty air related to farming. It means if you live near a farm, there's no telling what you're breathing.

I had a lengthy conversation with the Yakima Clean Air Agency. They denied me an on-camera interview because they say there's too much information surrounding this problem for them to sum it all up in a single interview.

Clean air did tell me the type of equipment needed to monitor air near farms is too expensive. And, that clean air is only mandated to monitor pollutants like smoke and dust--not dairy residue.

"That's fecal dust that's coming across,” Jim said. “I've taken pictures to them where I can't even see my front yard. That's dust."

Lower Valley neighbors argue they need more air monitor, especially in places like Sunnyside. Clean Air says it only has air monitors in Toppenish and Harrah.

"Start putting out monitors, monitors where they belong,” Jim said. “Not in the middle of the city. Let’s put them out where the industry is that's causing the problem."

The Department of Ecology says it is currently conducting a Nitrate Study. The results might help bring a solution to the air problem.