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E-M:/ CAFOs/Russell Harding

Enviro-Mich message from DM@qedenv.com

Our Michigan environmental dignitaries are spreading their wisdom, unencumbered by  the documented failures of the Michigan CAFO program:
 Proposed CAFO regs opposed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
 WASHINGTON ? Farmers and state officials yesterday, 17 May, told the US House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment their concerns about a proposal that would significantly alter and complicate regulations governing the management of animal waste on many of the nation's farms.                                                                                                                 
 The extensive regulations, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January under the outgoing Clinton administration, would alter the definition of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) to include more small farming operations. The regulations would also change CAFO effluent limitation guidelines. Current EPA Administrator Christie Whitman recently extended the comment   
 period for the proposed regulations to 30 July.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
 Under the Clean Water Act, the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters from directly identifiable locations (point sources) is regulated through a federal program, which in most cases is then delegated to the states.                                                                                                                                                                                  
 In the past few years, heightened attention has been given to the problem of excessive nutrients and the contribution of animal feeding operations to water quality problems. Since 1996, 12 states have established new environmental regulations to address animal feeding operations, while others have pursued effective non-regulatory approaches.                                                         
 "There is no debate that we must protect our water quality," said US Rep. Jim Duncan, R-TN, the chairman of the subcommittee. "But we need to find solutions that are cost effective and make sense. We need to make sure we are not running small farmers out of business."                                                                                                                                    
 "We believe that EPA has seriously underestimated the number of CAFOs that would require permits under their approach by more than 50 percent," said Russell Harding, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. "We do not believe that the additional permitting effort will provide any greater reduction in pollutant loading than would occur in the comprehensive, proactive,          
 voluntary program that Michigan is implementing."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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