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E-M:/ CAFO Lawsuits for Illegal Discharges

Enviro-Mich message from "Thomas Rohrer" <rohrert@state.mi.us>

In a message dated 2 October 2000, Anne Woiwode Wrote:

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

    "Dear Tom:  A major oversight in the DEQ "enforcement" action is that 
     it failed to require, as required under both State law and Federal 
     law, that these facilities seek and obtain NPDES permits from the 
     State of Michigan. The DEQ continues its game of ignoring the 
     bottomline issue -- your failure to enforce to both Michigan law and 
     the Clean Water Act.  
     Nice try, but DEQ has still failed to do the job. 
< big snip > "

Dear Anne:

Well, I guess we will have to "....agree to disagree.." on this issue.  The DEQ position is that these agricultural producers should have NO DISCHARGE  (zero, zip, nada, nein, nyet....) to the waters of the State.  Therefore, we should NOT issue them a permit to discharge.  Pretty simple.

I don't see how you can say that "...DEQ has...failed to do the job." and that there is a failure to enforce the law.  We sued the violators in Circuit Court and have court orders preventing any future discharges.  That IS enforcing the law.  It's what we do every day.

The court orders require corrective programs to protect the waters of the state; payment of  penalties and cost recovery for the violations cited in our complaint; etc.   I think that we've accomplished a lot.  What has the Sierra Club accomplished? (...zero, zip, nada, nein, nyet...).


Thomas K. Rohrer, Chief
Enforcement Unit
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 30273
Lansing,  MI  48909-7773
(517) 335-4101
(517) 373-2040 - fax

e-mail = rohrert@state.mi.us

"Protecting and enhancing the quality of Michigan's surface waters"

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