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E-M:/ Sierra Club announces partial settlement with Walnutdale Farms

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

For Immediate Release
January 25, 2002

Contact: Anne Woiwode or Dan Farough
		(517) 484-2372

Sierra Club announces partial settlement with Walnutdale Farms to stop
manure pollution
Agreement Will Lead to Immediate Water Quality Improvements at
Large Scale Dairy Facility

In response to a Sierra Club lawsuit, Walnutdale Farms, a large-scale dairy
operation south of Grand Rapids, agreed to make improvements to their
mega-dairy aimed at keeping manure from spilling into the Little Rabbit
River Watershed.  The Sierra Club lawsuit, which alleges violations of the
Clean Water Act, was brought after repeated failure by the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality to end pollution from the animal

"Sierra Club's goal from the start has been for Walnutdale Farms to fix
their pollution problems so that they can operate their dairy cleanly, and
so people downstream can enjoy clean water," said Aaron Isherwood, Sierra
Club attorney. “We are pleased that Walnutdale Farms has agreed to these
important improvements, but we still have some concerns about the pollution
caused by this factory farm." The agreement addresses a portion of the
Sierra Club’s lawsuit.

The interim settlement comes less than two weeks after the State of Michigan
finally agreed to require water quality permits for factory farms, a
decision brought about by pressure from concerned citizens and the Sierra

Key components of the interim settlement agreement filed in Federal Court in
Lansing on Friday, January 25, 2002, include:

-A requirement for increased storage capacity for manure and other waste to
end the practice of spreading wastes onto frozen or snow covered ground.

- Construction of a new, impermeable storage facility for cow manure.

- Opportunities for US EPA and Sierra Club representatives to inspect the
operation as the litigation proceeds.

“The Sierra Club stepped in and secured actual, enforceable clean up where
the DEQ had failed for years,” said Anne Woiwode, Director of Sierra Club
Michigan chapter. “The time has come for Michigan to get serious about
pollution from animal factories and follow the lead of her citizens.”


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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