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

Re: E-M:/ Vreba-Hoff statement misleads the public

Unfortunately, this problem is not only the Freep and not only on CAFOs.
Every paper that I have available to me deliberately and knowingly prints material that they know is false or misleading.  Some are worse than others.  I've named them before.  They simply arrange that the false information be in the form of a quote from someone.  Then they deny responsibility.
A real sad statement of an alleged free press.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 5:58 PM
Subject: E-M:/ Vreba-Hoff statement misleads the public

Today's Detroit Free Press contains part 2 of a current series on


The most interest part of the story is the comment of
Steve Vanderhoff of Vreba Hoff farms....  the article states....

" Vanderhoff describes the environmental problems as "a learning curve." He said the dairies once spread manure on farm fields in winter, when the frozen ground allowed manure to run into public drains.

They've stopped that, he said. "

The Freep reporter let Vanderhoff off much too easy.....

The article's mention of Vanderhoff's misleading intimations are right up there with
"I did not have sex with that woman" and G.W. Bush's 16 words
on alleged Iraq orders of yellowcake from Africa....

Vanderhoff's farm was spreading animal waste as recently as this
past winter and this spreading led to MDEQ enforcement action
because of discharges to surface waters.

If Vanderhoff says this practice has stopped, should he get any
credit for being on a "learning curve" when ceasing such practices was only done because of the imminence of environmental enforcement over recent winter animal waste application practices and waste discharges to surface water this past winter?   I don't think so.  

The Freep needs to get tougher with this kind of misleading statement by polluting CAFO operators.   Missing also from the article is the consequences for nitrate contamination of groundwater from these operations.   Only recently has MDEQ indicated that it intends to enforce groundwater permitting requirements on the combined Vreba Hoff I and II operation.  Also missing from these articles is the fact
that public water supply inlets are located downstream from these CAFO operations.
None of these public water supply systems are capable of filtering cryptosporidium
from animal wastes from such discharges.....you'all do remember what happened
in Milwaukee on this issue?

The whole matter of winter application of animal waste in Michigan has resulted
from Michigan Department of Agriculture and US Department of
Agriculture - Natural Resource Conservation Service encouragement/acquiesence
of/to this practice by adoption of the so-called "Manure Application Risk
Index" decision matrix that does not consider all risk factors and does not
prevent animal waste pollution of rural waterways.   MARI doesn't work, but
it is incorporated in numerous Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans
for these big operations.....

Deposition of animal waste on land at times when plant nutrients do not
take up such animal waste nutrients is nothing more than "waste disposal" and
the romantic plant nutrition fantasy dreams of the Mich Dept. of Agriculture, MSU Comprehensive Nutrient Management trainers/certified preparers, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Michigan Farm Bureau will not change this fact.

The animal waste disposal practices fostered by these institutions through tacit acceptance of poor practices in their guidance documents and in agriculture planning frequently emphasize disposal practices that maximize plant nutrient losses to air, ground water and surface water.   All of these institutions go on and on about "agronomic rates" of animal waste application, when these so-called agronomic rates embody large over applications of critical plant nutrients under many times and circumstances.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039 
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com