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E-M:/ Congressman Smith introduces a "Let the Factory Farms Off the Hook" bill



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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In a rather sickening gesture on the first full day of spring, Michigan's
Congressman Nick Smith introduced a bill to exempt factory farms from permit
requirements under the Clean Water Act IF the state in which that factory
farm is located has a nutrient management program.  It doesn't even appear
that this bill intends to require that the factory farms in that state
comply with the actual provisions of the nutrient management program, since
all the teeth are in "guidelines" and the state's program provisions as
opposed to its actual success in implementing those provisions.

The reality is that many of the factory farms in Michigan that are polluting
the water, including quite a few throughout Mr. Smith's district, in fact
HAVE nutrient management plans in hand, yet are continuing to pollute. The
state has been ineffectual in getting a number these facilities to clean up
under the voluntary scenario, which this would put into law.  If anyone
needed a strong argument for why the nation needs NPDES permits for the
worst CAFO offenders, Michigan is the number 1 example! (See the language of
the bill below and make up your own mind about this proposal.)

Congressman Smith is evidently not hearing the full story.  While Mr.
Smith's website suggests that he only wants to hear from his own
constituents, by introducing this legislation he is in effect set himself up
as the focal point for this issue nationwide, and certainly throughout
Michigan.  You may wish to let him know your thoughts on this matter at his
offices, listed below.  While emails are apparently overwhelming members of
congress, if that is your only choice for communication, write to Mr. Smith
at: Rep.smith@mail.house.gov

Congressman Nick Smith's office addresses and phone numbers:
In Washington:

2305 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-6276
(202) 225-6281 fax

In Jackson:

110 First Street, Suite A
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 783-4486
(517) 783-3012 fax

In Battle Creek:

249 West Michigan Avenue
Battle Creek, MI 49017
(616) 965-9066
(616) 965-9036 fax

In Adrian:
(517) 265-5012

In Charlotte:
(517) 543-0055



The text of HR 1138:

To amend section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide
that
no permit shall be required for animal feeding operations within the
boundaries
of a State if the State... (Introduced in the House, March 21, 2001)
HR 1138 IH
107th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1138
To amend section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide
that
no permit shall be required for animal feeding operations within the
boundaries
of a State if the State has established and is implementing a nutrient
management program for those animal feeding operations.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 21, 2001
Mr. SMITH of Michigan (for himself and Mrs. EMERSON) 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
no permit shall be required for animal feeding operations within the
boundaries
of a State if the State has established and is implementing a nutrient
management program for those animal feeding operations.
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) EXEMPTION OF CERTAIN ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS-
`(1) IN GENERAL- If a State has established and is implementing a nutrient
management program for animal feeding operations that meets the requirements
of
paragraph (2), no permit shall be required under this section with respect
to
such operations within the boundaries of the State.
`(2) SPECIFIED REQUIREMENTS- A nutrient management program for animal
feeding
operations referred to in paragraph (1) must meet the following
requirements:
`(A) The program must be designed so that application of the program to such
operations will assist the State in achieving its water quality goals.
`(B) The program must include guidelines to restrict the discharge of
pollutants
so as not to compromise water quality.
`(C) The program must include nutrient management planning guidelines for
such
operations.
`(3) ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATION - In this subsection, the term `animal feeding
operation' means a lot or facility where animals have been, are, or will be
stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in
any
12-month period and crops, forage, or post-harvest residues are not
sustained in
the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility.'.




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