Two lawsuits Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed against Tulare County regarding approval of giant dairies have been settled. The county agreed to add an animal waste management element to its general plan and to complete a program EIR by the end of the year. Under terms of a settlement reached in August, the Airosa Diary agreed to suspend its 3,600-cow expansion of a dairy near Pixley until the county completes the EIR and reviews the expansion. An October settlement of a second lawsuit places the same conditions on the Jongsma family, which received county approval for a 3,200-cow dairy near Earlimart earlier this year. Lockyer filed the lawsuits because he contended Tulare County was not performing adequate environmental review of dairy proposals, which the county was approving based on mitigated negative declarations. (See CP&DR Local Watch, July 1999.) Tulare County is the number one dairy county in the nation, with more than 300,000 cows and about 20 applications for new or expanded facilities. "This settlement is a good blueprint for addressing environmental review of diary projects," Lockyer said in a written statement. Lockyer, environmentalists and anti-poverty advocates fear that runoff from the giant dairies can pollute surface water and groundwater.