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E-M:/ Victims of SB 205

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

 No doubt the Farm Bureau is getting a big chuckle out of this one.  North 
 Plains Township in Ionia County issued the following press release:
 "Due to the recent passage of Senate Bill 205 (which was signed by 
 Governor Engler on December 29, 1999) North Plains Township in Ionia 
 County is forced to dismiss its pending criminal misdemeanor prosecution 
 cases against two, large intensive livestock operations for allged 
 violations of a township ordinance.  SB 205 is legislation which was 
 pushed heavily by the Michigan Farm Bureau and the Michigan Chamber of 
 Commerce to take away local control and prevent Michigan township, cities 
 and villages from regulating farming and agriculture in general.  North 
 Plains Township Supervisor William Kruger stated that this is a sad day 
 for Michigan when local communities cannot regulate uses and activities of 
 local concern.  He also pointed out that many of the residents in North 
 Plains Township who complained about the waste practices of the two large 
 intensive livestock operations were farmers themselves.  Many municipal 
 officials around the State are pessimistic about the willingness of state 
 agencies and officials to regulate these huge industrial hog operations 
 since many believe that the State has turned a blind eye to outrageous 
 practices in the past.  Although the proponents of S.B. 205 have claimed 
 that the legislation was needed to protect farms of all sizes and not just 
 large intensive livestock operations, Supervisor Kruger beleives that the 
 legislation was designed to protect huge industrial-type hog operations 
 and he challenges state officials to produce examples of smaller 
 conventional farms being treated unfairly by Michigan townships.

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