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E-M:/ enforce P.A.451 & its permits for CAFOs

Enviro-Mich message from Janet Kauffman <eng_kauffman@online.emich.edu>



(Enviro-listees: Please write more letters TO

In letters to State Representative Doug Spade
(D-Adrian) and to Atty. Gen. Jennifer Granholm,
two dozen Hudson area residents appealed for
enforcement of Michigan’s Natural Resources and
Environmental Protection Act, P.A. 451, which
requires permits for Confined Animal Feed

Under the administrative rules of P.A. 451, the
Department of Environmental Quality is charged
with enforcement, but the DEQ has never required
the permits or enforced the CAFO section of the
Act.  Although Michigan’s Right to Farm law
requires no permits for CAFOs, that law does not
supercede or overturn other Michigan laws.
Permits would be a small step, but a step
nonetheless, in protecting Michigan's waters.

In the last year, 5 CAFOs have been constructed in
the Hudson area, and concern is growing for
protection of the area’s lakes and waterways.  One
incident of manure discharge in March contaminated
Lake Hudson, a State Recreation Area, and recent
tests showing high e. coli levels in nearby Posey
Lake have also raised concern about Lime Lake and
other waters affected by the CAFOs – the Bear
Creek/River Raisin watershed and the Bean
Creek/Tiffin River watershed.

  Hudson letters follow:

Dear Attorney General Granholm:

Please review the enclosed letter to Rep. Doug
Spade and accompanying specifics of the Michigan
PA 451, our Natural Resources and Environmental
Protection Act (NREPA).  This Act and its
Administrative Rules clearly require permits for
Confined Animal Feed Operations.  Can your office
insist on enforcement of PA 451?

In the last years, 5 CAFOs have begun operation
within 5 miles of Hudson, MI. There is great
concern here about water quality and the lack of
permits for discharge of animal wastes.  One
operation is currently under investigation by the
MDA/DEQ for violating Right to Farm GAAMPs by
discharging animal wastes into surface waters (the
Henning Drain and Lake Hudson, a State Recreation
Area with public swimming).  However, these CAFOs
do not have permits or required manure management
plans, and the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture only
responds after a discharge has occurred.  E. coli
levels have skyrocketed in Posey Lake, as well as
during the incident at Lake Hudson. Lime Lake,
too, is threatened. The MDA insists no permits are
necessary, that CAFOs are not point sources under
the Right to Farm Act, although they clearly are
point sources under PA 451.

Is it possible for your office to take action to
enforce PA 451?  We request, petition, plead that
you do.

       June 28, 2000
Representative Doug Spade
P.O. Box 33014
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Dear Rep. Spade:

At the meeting in Hudson two weeks ago, you asked
us for specifics, for language, that would work to
protect water quality, given the numerous Confined
Animal Feed Operations in this area.  We did the
research, and it’s clear Michigan already has
language and law in the Natural Resources and
Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) PA 451,
defining CAFOs – 1000 animal units (700 dairy
cows) – defining point source and discharge, and
specific rules requiring permits for CAFOs.
Please see DEQ Administrative Rule 323.2104 (b,
and Rule 323.2106 pursuant to the NREPA.

Therefore, to protect and preserve Michigan’s
invaluable waters, we ask you to introduce a
resolution supporting Michigan’s own NREPA and its
administrative rules requiring permits for
Confined Animal Feed Operations. The Right to Farm
Act cannot disregard these rules, and in fact
should be amended and linked to
PA 451.  Meantime, simply enforcing the Act is

All the other Great Lakes states, in response to
concern for water quality – Minnesota, Wisconsin,
Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and most
recently Indiana – have agreed to a permitting
process for CAFOs.  Ohio has a permit to install
which includes many of the same requirements.

Only Michigan has not agreed to enforcement of a
permitting process it already has on the books!
Only Michigan has no permits to install, no
requirements for manure management plans, no
permits under the National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES) as required by the
Clean Water Act.

But we do have the language, we do have the law,
on the books.  Now we need the will from
legislators like yourself, to insist that the DEQ,
under the Natural Resources and Environmental
Protection Act, enforce Michigan law.  It is
important that our public officials lead the way
in protecting public health and preserving
Michigan’s water resources.

Please respond, and tell us you will introduce a
resolution supporting enforcement of PA 451.

       Hudson area residents

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