Question: "Since when did DEQ engineers take over our Public Health
Answer: Since public officials who are corrupt,
ignorant or both were placed in positions of decision-making by the Engler
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
Subject: E-M:/ Hudson CAFO mixes
untreated human waste with manure
Contact: Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South
Kathy Melmoth, R.N. –
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).
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.”
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