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E-M:/ NEWS FROM SIERRA CLUB: EPA JOINS SIERRA CLUB IN COURT AGAINST ANIMAL FACTORY



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Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <daniel.farough@sierraclub.org>
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NEWS FROM SIERRA CLUB

For Immediate Release				  Contact:
Tuesday, April 23, 2002				  Anne Woiwode Sierra Club 517-484-2372


US Joins Sierra Club In Court Against Polluting Animal Factory
Allegan County Operation Has Long History of Violations

Residents of Michigan's Allegan County moved one step closer to a cleaner
Little Rabbit River on Tuesday when the US Environmental Protection Agency
brought a lawsuit against an animal factory, complementing litigation
started by the Sierra Club two years ago.  The EPA's decision to file a
Clean Water Act lawsuit is expected to help bring a swift and complete
resolution to water pollution problems extending back more than a decade at
the Walnutdale Farms dairy operation.

“We look forward to a time not far from now when all the users of the Red
Run Drain and the Little Rabbit River will not need to be afraid to enjoy
these waterways for fear of becoming ill,” said Anne Woiwode, Director of
the Sierra Club’s statewide chapter in Michigan.  “The EPA’s lawsuit helps
bring that dream closer to reality.”

“The Sierra Club welcomes the EPA's involvement in this case,”
said Aaron Isherwood, an attorney with Sierra Club’s Litigation Office.
“The federal government’s decision to file suit supports the progress the
Sierra Club has made during the past two years to bring this operation into
compliance.    We have worked closely with EPA enforcement staff on this
matter, and believe their lawsuit and continuing involvement in this case
will encourage a swift and complete resolution of the severe water pollution
problems caused by Walnutdale Farms.”

The Sierra Club filed suit in Federal Court in November 2000 based on the
dairy operation’s repeated water quality violations starting in 1991 and
after enforcement orders by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
had failed.  After receiving a default order in the case, the Sierra Club
negotiated an interim settlement with Walnutdale Farms resulting in some
immediate steps to resolve the problems posed by spreading the CAFO wastes
on frozen and snow covered ground.

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