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E-M:/ DEQ Working Group on CAFO General Water Quality Permit

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


I wanted to followup my last message about the working group appointed to
development the General Permit under the Clean Water Act for concentrated
animal feeding operations in Michigan.  In a conversation Wednesday with
Dave Hamilton, head of Surface Water Quality Division at DEQ, I was told the
working group was appointed and held its first meeting on Tuesday afternoon
already.  The working group is made up of representatives of the following

MI Dept of Agriculture
Michigan Milk Producers
Michigan Pork Producers
Michigan Cattlemen's Association
Michigan Farm Bureau
A poultry association (not sure name)
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Michigan Townships Association
West Michigan Environmental Action Council
MSU's Maynard Hogberg

The group was described as an 'advisory group' and a question I asked was
whether they will work by majority rule or on a consensus basis.  That was
not directly answered, because this group is intende to advise the chief.

It has not been determined whether the Open Meetings Act will be applied to
this group, but since a meeting has already been held without notice it is
too late to comply fully with that law.

The working group process is followed by a full public comment process, and
it was pointed out that most working groups in the DEQ are made up only of
the regulatory community, while this one included some others because of the
public controversy.  In fact, just to be clear, the USEPA has directed the
DEQ to provide representation on the working for the views of the
petitioners whose effort brought about this process (Sierra Club, MEC,

WMEAC has let us know they struggled with accepting the appointment, and
will do their best, which we greatly appreciate, but they don't have as much
expertise on this issue as is really needed, and there can't be any pretense
of "balance" in this group.  While the various livestock interests might
have reason to be present, it would have been so simple and smart to add at
least one representative from the petitioners.


Anne Woiwode, Staff Director, Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
109 East Grand River Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48906
517-484-2372; fax 517-484-3108  anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
visit the Mackinac Chapter on the web at http:\\michigan.sierraclub.org

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