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Re: E-M:/ deq tells epa to back off on animal factories



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Enviro-Mich message from linda_rosenthal@hermanmiller.com
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There is definitely cause for concern among Michigan residents regarding
CAFOs.  The lack of sufficient regulations on factory farms in our state is
appalling.  Do not expect an easy battle over this issue, not when a
high-ranking member of the Michigan Livestock Assn. tells a mid-Michigan
resident that "We can do whatever we want," with regard to placement and
management of sewage lagoons.  The glaring presence of one of these crap
pits prominently sitting along one major west Michigan highway is
sufficient evidence of this flip attitude.  However, we need folks
interested AND, I repeat, AND willing to offer solutions to this situation.
I lived near the Kishwaukee river in northern Illinois some years ago and
observed the fallout after a sewage lagoon overflow from a hog operation
poisoned the river.  The powerful agricultural interests in the area tried
to sweep everything under the rug, but it was very hard to ignore those
signs with the skull and crossbones posted along the feeder creeks and
river.  Michigan's water resources are far too valuable to play fast and
loose with ANY potentially harmful farming operations.  There are models of
legislation out there that we need to have in place in our state.

The DEQ's attitude towards federal agency snooping into Michigan's CAFOs is
telling.  Voluntary compliance is fine when individuals possess a personal
integrity and resposibility to their community which is unclouded by greed,
but humans being what they are and what they continue to exhibit in their
behavior, well, we all have to question the reliability factor.   Here, it
appears that the state foxes from two departments are guarding the
chickens!   On that bad pun note, I just received a video produced by the
Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club on poultry operations.  Feel free to
contact me if you want further information.

LR




Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net> on 11/02/98 12:54:15 PM

Please respond to Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

To:   enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
cc:    (bcc: Linda Rosenthal/Milcare/Herman Miller)
Subject:  E-M:/ deq tells epa to back off on animal factories




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Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
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In a letter recently obtained by MEC from the EPA, DEQ Director Russell
Harding joins Michigan Department of Agriculture Director Dan Wyant in
complaining about inspections the federal agency made this summer in west
Michigan.

"Needless to say, the presence of a federal regulatory inspector in rural
west Michigan did not go unnoticed.  A number of leading producers and
industry representatives contacted our respective departments to inquire
about what they perceived as unwarranted regulatory intervention," Harding
and Wyant wrote.  The letter goes on to tout Michigan's pollution
prevention strategy for Michigan agriculture, drafted by the agriculture
industry in tandem with the state agencies, as the answer to any concerns
about combined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

"The key to obtaining producer buy-in rests on the state agency's
credibility and commitment to give producers the chance to voluntarily
address environmental concerns before utilizing regulatory compliance
measures," the two directors write.

Not that any additional proof is needed, but the first impulse of
Michigan's DEQ management is always to side with polluters against
enforcers of pollution laws.



Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
davemec@voyager.net
www.mienv.org

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ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
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