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E-M:/ Rep. Nick Smith and CAFOs



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne M. Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@prodigy.net>
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Enviro-Mich:

Congressman Nick Smith (MI-7, R) has introduced a bill (see below) that 
appears to have been written by the Farm Bureau for their buddies Russ 
Harding and Dan Wyant.  The bill simply says states would be allowed to 
define what constitutes a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), 
"the properties of the discharge (including the volume and frequency of the 
discharge and the type of pollutant), and other site-specific 
factors."  This would endorse Michigan's current effort to be the worst 
cesspit in the nation by resisting meeting even the minimum standards that 
the Clean Water Act demands be met by all states with delegated 
authority.  The race to the bottom of the manure lagoon would really heat 
up if this abomination passes.

Now remember, Michigan currently claims it has a zero discharge policy for 
CAFOs because under the Clean Water Act to admit that they fail to regulate 
any point source that spews pollutants into the waters of the US would be 
in violation of their delegation under the Clean Water Act. This has 
translated to simply meaning that they pretend there are no discharges and 
that if a violation is found they contend, as Harding says, that once 
brought into compliance the facility has "no potential to pollute" in the 
future.

How much easier it will be to simply say that CAFOs up to a certain size 
are NOT CAFOs, and that the raw manure and other wastes discharged from 
them are exempt from any regulation.  Think of it -- a bidding war for who 
can get the biggest CAFOs under the state's law exempt from EPA oversight! 
"Michigan bids for no regulations to control CAFOs of 10,000 animal units 
(the equivalent waste production of 75,000 people)"; "Utah sees you and 
raises you another 2,000!"  And linguistic detoxification of that waste 
will be an extra bonus. "What, deaths from E coli contamination?  OBVIOUSLY 
that has nothing to do with the massive CAFO upstream -- let's go after the 
dog owners who walk their dogs near here instead!!"

Perhaps it is time for Mr. Smith to visit his constituents who are 
experiencing the horrors of CAFO neighbors, or if Mr. Smith won't come to 
the manure ponds, maybe you ought to take the manure ponds to him.

Anne Woiwode
Sierra Club


>HR 5638 IH
>
>106th CONGRESS
>
>2d Session
>
>H. R. 5638
>To amend section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide
>that States have the final authority to establish guidelines to determine
>which animal feeding operations are classified as concentrated animal
>feeding operations for purposes of the national pollutant discharge
>elimination system.
>
>IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
>
>December 4, 2000
>Mr. SMITH of Michigan introduced the following bill; which was referred to
>the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
>
>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>A BILL
>To amend section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide
>that States have the final authority to establish guidelines to determine
>which animal feeding operations are classified as concentrated animal
>feeding operations for purposes of the national pollutant discharge
>elimination system.
>
>Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
>States of America in Congress assembled, That section 402 of the Federal
>Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342) is amended by adding at the end
>the following:
>
>`(q) CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS- A State has the final authority
>to establish guidelines for determining which animal feeding operations in
>the State are classified as concentrated animal feeding operations for
>purposes of this section. The State's guidelines shall provide the factors
>to be considered in making such a determination, including number and
>concentration of animal units, the properties of the discharge (including
>the volume and frequency of the discharge and the type of pollutant), and
>other site-specific factors.'.



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