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E-M:/ Michigan Farm Bureau News (May 15, 2002) -- "Financial incentives coming..."

Enviro-Mich message from Janet Kauffman <eng_kauffman@online.emich.edu>

Bad news for sustainable agriculture.  Only 2 Michigan livestock 
producers have completed the voluntary Michigan Agriculture 
Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).  And now DEQ! is getting into 
the animal waste funding business.

The front-page article of the current Michigan Farm Bureau News, 
headlined "Financial incentives coming for animal waste planning," 
claims DEQ's supplemental budget will finance "expenses that 
MAEAP-verified farms incur to become 'environmentally sound.'" Rather 
than funding alternative, non-polluting waste management systems, 
federal USDA and now state DEQ money is supporting lagoon/liquid waste 
systems that have repeatedly polluted Michigan watersheds. DEQ will 
also, the article claims, determine Pollution Control tax exemptions, 
and consider "Good Faith" efforts when investigating environmental 
problems on MAEAP facilities.  

The boundaries have always been blurred between Farm Bureau and MDA. 
 Now DEQ has stepped over the line -- into that manure-waste-pit funding 
quagmire.  Why? Whose idea? Has the legislature approved this money for 
this purpose?  Why no water monitoring money? Why no incentives for 
on-site waste treatment?

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