[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Re: E-M:/ Hudson CAFO mixes untreated human waste with manure

Question:  "Since when did DEQ engineers take over our Public Health policy?”

Answer:  Since public officials who are corrupt, ignorant or both were placed in positions of decision-making by the Engler Administration. 
Answer2: Since the corporate toady Engler administration came to power.
Answer3:  Since untrustworthy hacks took over at DEQ and DNR.
Answer 4: Since Clinton was President (opps! That's the republican's BS spin answer).
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 8:41 AM
Subject: E-M:/ Hudson CAFO mixes untreated human waste with manure

                                         August 26, 2002
                                         Contact: Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan
                                                       Kathy Melmoth, R.N.  – 517-523-3307
Hudson Dairy Mixes Untreated Human Waste
With Manure For Last 4 Years – DEQ Says Fine

        For the last four years, Vreba-Hoff I, an industrial dairy in the Hudson area, has been adding untreated human waste to its manure lagoon, spraying and applying it to crop fields.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, complicit in this practice, granted Vreba-Hoff permission to mix the human and animal wastes.
        The practice of using untreated human excreta as fertilizer poses extreme public health risks because of the concentration of pathogens, including hepatitis A, cryptosporidium, E. coli, and giardia.   People at greatest risk are the employees working with the untreated waste and residents downstream.  
        Vreba-Hoff I has been cited by the DEQ for 5 illegal discharges of manure to streams in the last 2 years.  Because of the multiple discharges, the dairy is currently undergoing review with the Enforcement Unit of DEQ.  The facility confines approx. 2500 cows and generates 25-30,000 gallons of untreated animal waste per day (more than 8 million gallons per year).
        Discharges from Vreba-Hoff have contaminated Medina Drain, which enters Bean Creek before it flows through Medina County Park.  One stretch of Bean Creek in the Park has been a swimming area for many years.  
        Details concerning the Vreba-Hoff  facility on Dillon Hwy in Medina Township, and recommendations for its waste-handling system, were included in a letter from DEQ to the Lenawee County Health Department, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan (ECCSCM).  
        In the letter dated December 3, 1997, Jon Caterino, District Engineer with the Environmental Health Section of DEQ, wrote that “it is the recommendation of this office that the human sanitary waste generated by the 21 proposed employees be plumbed into the waste system being designed to handle the animal waste at the facility.”
        The Vreba-Hoff facility was under construction at the time.  Caterino explained that a site inspection showed “heavy clay soils not particularly suitable for construction of a septic tank and tile-field sewage disposal system.”  DEQ official Scott Ross of Groundwater Permits Section of DEQ agreed that the idea to mix human and animal waste “would not harm the environment, was a cost effective method of handling the waste,” and stated that DEQ would not oppose the Vreba-Hoff proposal.
        While the DEQ often points out that failed septic systems contaminate streams, in this case an industrial facility with numerous employees was exempted entirely from the sanitary requirements that all new residences, most with just a few family members, must meet.  Nearby Lime Lake residents must install a new sewer system, with homeowners paying as much as $7,000 each, because of septic pollution of the lake.  The Vreba-Hoff dairy, however, was exempted and given a “cost-effective” alternative that requires no septic system, no treatment before disposal.  
         “This is 2002.  This is not a proper way to handle human waste,” said ECCSCM member Kathy Melmoth, a registered nurse.  “Since when did DEQ engineers take over our Public Health policy?”