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E-M:/ Open Letter to DEQ/MDA Asks them to tell the Whole Story on CAFOS to EPA Official

Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>

Michigan Sierra Club
News Release
109 East Grand River, Lansing, MI 48906 – Ph: 517/484-2372 – Fax

For Immediate Release:						Contact:
Friday, October 19, 2001 						Anne Woiwode
(517) 484-2372



LANSING – A coalition of family farmers, long-time rural residents,
environmentalists and neighborhood associations sent an open letter
requesting that the State of Michigan tell the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) the whole story about its failing CAFO program in an upcoming
“Tour of Farms” on Monday, October 22nd.  The Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) is
hosting the tour for Jean Marie Peltier, the Counselor to EPA Administrator
Christie Todd Whitman on agriculture policy as part of effort to head off
mounting public criticism and legal action as a result of the agencies
unwillingness to prevent continuing discharges and public health problems
from CAFOs or animal factories.  “The signatories of this letter are ready
and willing to adjust our schedules to speak or participate in the ‘Tour of
Farms’ so that the whole story gets told,” said Dr. Leland Wolf, a long time
resident of Hudson, MI.  “Its imperative that EPA get all the facts.  The
quality of people’s lives in rural Michigan is literally on the line.”

Animal factories are a known problem throughout the country and a growing
problem in Michigan because they concentrate thousands of animals in a
confined location, producing as much waste as medium sized cities, but
without public health regulations that cities obey.  As a result enormous
amounts of waste are being generated that are making lakes and rivers unsafe
for human contact, threatening drinking water sources, polluting the air and
lowering property values.

“Animal factories continue to pollute wells in Lenawee County, lakes in
Kalamazoo County and rivers throughout western Michigan,” said Anne Woiwode,
Director of the Michigan Sierra Club.  “The State’s failing program is
creating an endemic set of problems throughout the State.”  The Sierra Club,
Michigan Land Use Institute, Michigan Environmental Council and concerned
citizens from around Michigan have a petition before EPA to remove the State
’s authority to administer the Clean Water Act.

The letter contains over 20 signatories including a State Representative
family farmers and leaders of organizations fighting the pollution from
animal factories.


October 19, 2001

Russell Harding, Director
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
PO Box 30473
Lansing, MI 48909

Dan Wyant, Director
Michigan Department of Agriculture
611 W. Ottawa Street
4th Floor, Ottawa Building
Lansing, MI 48909

RE: October 22nd Tour of Farms With EPA Counselor Jean-Marie Peltier

Dear Directors Harding and Wyant:

	On Monday, October 22, we understand Jean-Marie Peltier, the Counselor to
EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman on Agriculture Policy, has been
invited on a tour of farms in Michigan, focusing on concentrated animal
feeding operations, and that discussions with the state regarding its
position on conforming with federal and state laws for water pollution will
be under consideration as well.

We the undersigned respectfully request that this tour be expanded to show
the whole story of concentrated animal feeding operations in Michigan.  We
ask that it include visits to facilities that have ongoing or outstanding
violations which the state’s efforts have failed to address, and that the
downstream neighbors of concentrated animal feeding operations who suffer
from irresponsible livestock management activities in Michigan be invited to
meet with and tour with Ms Peltier as well.

	Many of the signatories to this letter are ready and willing to adjust our
schedules and make ourselves available on Monday to speak with or
participate in this tour of farms. We believe the insights and knowledge we
bring will be critical to a full understanding of the issues in Michigan.
Please inform us immediately of the details of the tour by responding to
Sierra Club at 517-484-2372, which will immediately provide all the details
to the below signatories, so that we may participate.

We look forward to the opportunity to present the whole story about
pollution and concentrated animal feeding operations in Michigan to Ms


Mitch and Irene Gibbons, Barryton
Peter Harkema, Grand Rapids
Lynn Henning, Clayton
Representative Chris Kolb, Ann Arbor
Betty Kreiter, Scotts
Rose Layne, Scotts
Fred Lighthall, Harbert
Dave Maturen, Portage
Kathy Melmoth, RN, Pittsford
David Moore, Scotts
Greg Nichols, Kalamazoo
Jan O’Connell, Grand Rapids
Tom Post, Scotts
Pat Reed, Scotts
Carolyn Roberts, Three Rivers
Nancy Snow, Vicksburg
Gerrit Vander Kamp, Vicksburg
John Vasko, Camden
Jolene and Phil White, Scotts
Ron and Rene White, Scotts
Dr. Leland Wolf, Pittsford

On behalf of their organizations:

Liz Brater, Ecology Center, Ann Arbor
Conan Smith, Michigan Environmental
    Council, Lansing
Patty Cantrell, Michigan Land Use Institute, Benzonia
Anne Woiwode, Sierra Club, Lansing

cc. 	Christie Todd Whitman, Administrator, US Environmental Protection
	Jean-Marie Peltier, Counselor on Agriculture Policy, US Environmental
Protection Agency

Anne Woiwode, Staff Director
Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
109 East Grand River Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48906
517-484-2372; fax 517-484-3108

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