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E-M:/ Call on EPA to Enforce Clean Air Act Against CAFOs

Enviro-Mich subscribers:


Below is a release from a national coalition of organizations regarding air quality problems from CAFOs – a section of Appendix B to the letter addresses the air pollution problems from the Hartland Farms CAFO in Lenawee County. 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        Contact: Nadia Khatchadourian

Tuesday September 2, 2003                        Nadiak@mrss.com, 202-478-6187­





EPA Fails to Monitor and Control Dangerous Air Emissions that

Threaten Public Health and Destroy Rural Communities


WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Environmental Integrity Project and a coalition of national and state environmental organizations and citizens from across the country call on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lift its self-imposed moratorium on Clean Air Act enforcement against corporate animal factories or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).  CAFOs are subject to the Clean Air Act because they are a major source of air emissions of hazardous gases, chemicals and particulate matter proven to cause lung ailments and even premature death. 


“Air pollution from CAFOs continues to foul the air and threaten the health of citizens,” said Michele Merkel, former staff attorney for EPA’s Water Enforcement Division and current Senior Counsel of the Environmental Integrity Project.  “The previous Administration initiated Clean Air Act enforcement measures against CAFOs, but the Bush Administration called a halt to any further air enforcement against CAFOs.”  


In a letter to the EPA, the coalition presents specific information on large CAFOs in California, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin.  The groups urge EPA to collect and review data from these operations, starting with facilities that are the subject of citizen complaints and facilities that prevent counties from complying with national air quality standards.


The letter also highlights EPA’s failure to pursue Clean Air Act violations of two companies, Buckeye Egg Farms and Seaboard Farms.  EPA’s neglect of CAFO air enforcement is indicative of an all-too familiar Bush Administration routine of industry influence derailing effective enforcement.  Clean Air Act enforcement is needed now more than ever, as the CAFO industry in the U.S. has exploded over the past ten years, with facilities now in 44 of 50 states. 


“If Clean Air Act enforcement is not a priority for EPA, Clean Air Act compliance will not be a priority for the CAFO industry,” added Merkel.


 “CAFOs shatter the quality of life in rural communities across the country.  The stench locks children indoors.  The operations ruin adjacent family farms, destroying the tax base and viability of small towns,” said Bertilia Redfern, CAFO Accountability Project Chair, Sierra Club-Sawtooth Group, Ketchum, Idaho


The letter concludes by calling on EPA to take swift action against CAFOs that violate the Clean Air Act: “By taking vigorous action, you will demonstrate to communities who suffer the direct effects of CAFO air emissions that they are not forgotten, and that the Clean Air Act applies to CAFOs in the same way that it does to every other industry.”






X.        MICHIGAN


Particular Facility of Concern:  Hartland Farms, a dairy CAFO in south central Michigan, is one of ten dairy CAFOs within a ten mile radius of the town of Hudson, Michigan. Hartland Farms is small by comparison to the other dairy CAFOs in Appendix A, however, we listed it because medical professionals have determined that its air emissions endanger the health of neighbors.







Anne Woiwode, Director

Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter

109 East Grand River Avenue,  Lansing, MI  48906

ph: 517-484-2372 fx: 517-484-3108 e: anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org

website:  http://michigan.sierraclub.org