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E-M:/ Pollution at Michigan State University Beef Cattle Facility



As of 3 PM Tuesday, the MSU Beef Cattle Teaching and Research
Facility at Beaumont and Bennett Roads was still discharging highly
turbid barnyard runoff to a drain leading to a tile inlet....and subsequently
the Grand River.    Discharge first discovered by Sierra Club on 12/31/2004

http://www.sagady.com/MSU/R1013_12.JPG

See pics of waste discharge point #1 and water samples
http://www.sagady.com/MSU/021_22A.JPG
http://www.sagady.com/MSU/022_23A.JPG

This discharge entered a tile inlet that flows to the Grand River.

Pic of discharge point #2 observed discharging on 01/02/2005
http://www.sagady.com/MSU/008_9A.JPG

This discharge flowed downhill to a low area that apparently drains
to a creek to the East.

This completely unacceptable conduct has undoubtedly been going on for
decades during/after most rain events and arises, in part, from Michigan State University's violation
of national conservation practice standards at its Beef teaching facility
for roof water runoff.    MSU allows uncontrolled roofwater at this
site to enter penned cattle areas and then discharges this turbid barnyard
runoff with no wastewater controls/cleanup from two different
locations at this site.

No gutters.... http://www.sagady.com/MSU/R1026_25.JPG

Here is the national USDA NRCS conservation practice that MSU violates by
discharging uncontrolled roof runoff into an animal pen area:

http://www.sagady.com/MSU/Roof_Runoff_Management_(NO)_(558).pdf

Apparently farm management at MSU doesn't like the scrutiny of these kinds of
problems....simple acts of photographing these problems and taking water
samples, both solely from public areas along roadsides....and even after
identifying myself to MSU farm employees who asked what I was doing...drew
responses from 2 MSU police vehicles who arrived just as I was leaving.

Also noted on a recent drivearound at MSU.....at the MSU Livestock
and Animal Pavillion on Farm Lane....A storm sewer was put into
an animal waste storage area......so piles of animal waste from
4H events and livestock exhibitions can leach into area surface waters....
....bad examples of animal waste management practice.   Good
management would be to either provide a roof for this bunker, cover piles
and/or to remove the storm drain.

http://www.sagady.com/MSU/R!025_24.JPG
http://www.sagady.com/MSU/R1022_21.JPG


Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 15:57:00 -0500
To: "Megan McMahon" <mcmahmeg@michigan.gov>
From: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
Subject: Additional Discharge -- MSU Beef Cattle facility
Cc: "Anne M. Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>, "Rita Jack" <rita.jack@sierraclub.org>

On December 31, 2004, I made a complaint to you about
a turbid discharge from a tile at the corner of Beaumont Road
and Bennett Road [the tile was actually on Beaumont Rd} that
appears to have originated from barnyard runoff complicated by
uncontrolled roofwater runoff from the MSU Beef Cattle Teaching
and Research Center.

Today, January 2, 2004, I verified again that this tile is discharging
and I also discovered a second discharge point from this particular
facility.

The second discharge point from this facility with highly turbid runoff appears to be
coming from barnyards and roofwater from parts of the complex to
the extreme east.   The turbid runoff is coming down a north-south
oriented drain originating at point between the eastern-most building
and the beef feedlot located even further east.   

This second turbid runoff point from
the north-south oriented drain empties into the roadside ditch which flows
to the east down a hill.    It flows to a marked location in a low spot shown
with a pipe.   I am unable to clearly identify a tile inlet location at that point, but
I do note that the water was not accumulating at that low point.   Further to the
east across Hagadorn is a large county drain that runs north-south.

I'd note that MSU at this site is in violation of USDA NRCS-MI eFOTG conservation practice
"Roof Runoff Management No 558" which is attached to this message.
Both of the south-facing barns at the subject facility have no roof
rain gutters and the roof water is free to fall into exposed and exterior
fenced animal exercise soil barnyard areas.   In this respect, the subject
facility has some of the same characteristics as some of MDNR's worst
agricultural site enforcement targets from the past (i.e. Walnutdale
Farms in West Michigan).

It seems clear that the turbid rain-event discharges that I've described
in this message and the previous one on the Bennett Road facility
must have been going on for years.

For Michigan's pre-eminent agricultural teaching and research institution
that is supposed to be a high exemplar in such matters, this is clearly
unacceptable conduct.

Please consider this also as a complaint to MDEQ.

Regards,

SIERRA CLUB MACKINAC CHAPTER
Alex Sagady, Environmental Consultant to the SCMC
(517)332-6971
ajs@sagady.com


==========================================
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
==========================================

==========================================
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
==========================================