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E-M:/ manure contributing to Lake Erie dead zone

Long, detailed article in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer on the risk to Lake Erie from industrial livestock operations in northwest Ohio (and the CAFOs in southern Michigan, also in the Maumee River drainage).   The article mentions Michigan's lawsuits against Vreba-Hoff, the major developer of dairy CAFOs: "In the last four years, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality confirmed more than 100 violations and discharges, including fish kills, and filed lawsuits against two of the dairies. Both have been asked to install sewage treatment plants, a plan that Vreba-Hoff rejects."

Big farms, big problems?

Manure from large-scale dairies creates environmental issues

Sunday, August 01, 2004
Fran Henry
Plain Dealer Reporter

"...Ohio State University zoologist David Culver poses the very real possibility that manure from northwest Ohio farms is contributing to Lake Erie's 6,300-square-mile "dead zone," an oxygen-depleted area where fish cannot live. Manure fertilizes algae, which sink to the lake's bottom when they die. As the algae decompose, they deplete the oxygen in the water, cutting off the oxygen supply to fish and other living creatures."