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E-M:/ Michigan: Say YES to Pig Poop!!



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Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
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Enviro-mich folks:

Word is that the House Committee on Agriculture is planning to move SB 205,
the bill which would preempt all local controls over agriculture, pretty fast
through the Committee.  While the details may change, as of noon today here is
what we understand is planned:

- on TUESDAY, October 19th at 8 A.M. in Room 519 of the House Office Building
(brand new building on Ottawa Street and Capitol Street in downtown Lansing a
hearing, supposedly on "The Status of Agriculture in Michigan" will be held by
the Agriculture and Resource Management Committee of the House.  THIS MAY BE
THE ONLY CHANCE FOR ANYONE TO TESTIFY BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON SB 205, although
clearly the hearing is being billed as sweeping in nature.  IF YOU HAVE
SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT SB 205 COME TO THIS HEARING.

- on TUESDAY, October 26th the Committee is expected to take action on SB 205,
without additional input being sought.  

It is abundantly clear that this bill is on a VERY FAST TRACK, that the powers
that be are eager to pass it without any modification from the outrageous
version that passed the Senate, and that there will be enormous pressure to
tow the party line by the Republican members of the House.  

The $64 Billion Question is WHY?? WHY is Michigan's Republican Leadership so
eager to invite in Big Pig, despoiler of neighborhoods, polluter of waterways,
and enemy of the family farm?  

As Michigan develops a virtual hernia trying to remove its ONLY remaining
protections against the influx of the worst of the worst in the way of
pseudo-agricultural, animal industrial activities, I consulted with some
colleagues around the country to see if they have any insights.  The best
guess is this -- that this rush to pass the most offensive possible override
of local controls imaginable is DIRECTLY linked to the biblical proportion
flooding from Hurricane Floyd in North Carolina. While every state in the
nation is tightening up its agricultural standards to deal with pfisteria and
other bacterial pollutants, ground water pollution, waterway "dead zones",
airborne ammonia aerosols, and antibiotic resistant bacteria, all associated
with massive hog farms round the country, Michigan's leaders have decided to
become the Great Animal Waste Lagoon State instead of the Great Lakes State.

Is this paranoid, or no?  These same colleagues explain they have often
thought they might be overreaching, only to find out that their fears were all
legitimate.  North Carolina is thought to have lost an enormous amount of its
hog producing capacity (50% or more), washed down their rivers through towns
and farm lands leaving disease and destruction, out to the Pamlico Sound on
the Atlantic Ocean where it is killing off the life of the sound, perhaps for
generations.  The Governor of North Carolina has reportedly made it clear that
these facilities ARE NOT welcome to rebuild in North Carolina.

So where are they going to go?  Almost all the other states in the nation are
saying NO to these facilities, except for Michigan, which with this bill will
roll out the "other white meat" carpet for these animal factories.  Even the
former Big Pig states are saying NOT HERE, NOT NOW, NOT WITHOUT CONTROLS.
Michigan is fighting EPA controls that would require NPDES Permits for large
scale confined animal feeding operations, and is now doing its best to strike
down the only controls available -- those of local government.

Please, if you have any time in the next week or more to contact the members
of the House Agriculture Committee Please Do it!  There is a very aggressive
attempt to pretend that this bill is designed to protect the little guys, the
small family farmers.  They'll tell you these are all "family" farms -- but
they seem to mean the HiLean Family, or the Purdue Family, or the Tyson
Family, or the Murphy Family, all of them enormous corporations that have the
real family farmers working for them now.  Let's all be clear, the REAL family
farmers take all the risks, carry all the costs, and get to be the front guys
pointed to by the industry as the reason to gut local control, when the
industrial farms are in fact what is driving these folks out of business.

CALL AND TELL THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE AG AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE TO
OPPOSE ALL EFFORTS TO PREEMPT LOCAL CONTROL OVER LARGE SCALE ANIMAL FACTORIES!


Members of the House Agriculture and Resource Management Committee
Rep. Mike Green     Mayville (District 84) -- 888-254-5284
Rep. Larry Julian   Lennon (District 85) --- 877-558-5426
Rep. Ken Bradstreet Gaylord (District 105) --877-KEN-4-105
Rep. Gene DeRossett Manchester (District 55) 800 645-1581
Rep. Larry DeVuyst  Alma (District 93) 517-373-0834
Rep. Stephen Ehardt  Lexington (District 83)   517-373-0835
Rep. Jim Howell      St. Charles (District 94)  877-4-HOWELL
Rep. Rick Johnson   LeRoy (District 102)      877-MICH102
Rep. James Koetje   Grandville (District 74)   517-373-0846
Rep. Steven Vear    Hillsdale (District 58)  517-373-1794
Rep. Liz Brater     Ann Arbor (District 53)   800-474-1274
Rep. Rose Bogardus  Davison (District 47)   800-781-0047
Rep. John Hansen    Dexter (District 52)     888-326-JOHN
Rep. Ed LaForge     Kalamazoo  (District 60)  517-373-1785
Rep. Joseph Rivet   Bay City  (District 97)   888-737-0097
Rep. Dale Sheltrown Gladwin (District 103)   888-347-8103
Rep. Doug Spade     Adrian (District 57)     517-373-1706



Thanks for all you can do!!

Anne Woiwode
Sierra Club



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