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E-M:/ Michigan Residents and Environment Winners in Factory Farm Settlement

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE								                     CONTACT:
June 18, 2002										   Anne Woiwode, (517) 484-2372

Michigan Residents and Environment Winners in Factory Farm Settlement
Sierra Club Brings Animal Factories Into Compliance With Water Quality Laws

Lansing, MI—Michigan’s residents will have cleaner water quality due to an
agreement announced today between the Sierra Club and three animal factories
that will reduce pollution in the Grand River and its tributaries. The
settlement will resolve manure and other animal waste pollution problems at
three facilities in Ottawa County.  The settlement with  the owners of the
River Ridge Farms and White Acres Turkey Farm guarantees the use of
technology and practices to prevent future pollution and earmarks $12,500
for independent water quality monitoring in waterways previously polluted by
the facility.

“Deadly animal wastes are no long making their way into waterways families
use for swimming, fishing and other recreational activities as a direct
result of our efforts,” said Anne Woiwode, Director of the Sierra Club
Mackinac Chapter.  “Sierra Club pressure has forced River Ridge Farms beef
and dairy operations and Whiteacre Turkey Farm to come into compliance with
state and federal laws.”

Sierra Club brought suit against River Ridge Farms and owner Ed Hanenburg in
April 2001 to halt pollution from beef and dairy concentrated animal feeding
operations near Coopersville.  Earlier this year, Sierra Club gave notice
regarding pollution problems at the White Acres Turkey Farm, partially owned
by Hanenburg.  All violations involving these three facilities are resolved
in the settlement agreement, which was filed in federal court in Grand
Rapids on Friday. In addition, the settlement includes provisions for White
Acres Turkey Farm to notify the US EPA about possible ammonia emissions
resulting from their facility, pursuant to two federal acts, CERCLA and
EPCRA, requiring notification of emissions.

Aaron Isherwood, Sierra Club Staff Attorney, explained that this lawsuit’s
effect reaches far beyond these three operations.  “The State of Michigan
had refused to enforce federal and state laws to protect communities against
water pollution from animal factories.  Over the past two years the Sierra
Club has brought four lawsuits against polluting animal factories in
Michigan including this one. Those lawsuits are a critical part of Sierra
Club’s effort to force Michigan to do its job.”

A part of the settlement is the payment by Hanenburg of $12,500 to the Annis
Water Resources Institute of Grand Valley State University for water testing
activities in the vicinity of River Ridge Farms.  “We are pleased that a
penalty for the pollution violations in the past will in fact go to help
detect and prevent water pollution problems in the future at River Ridge,”
said Woiwode.


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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