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E-M:/ AG SAFE Bills introduced by Senator Liz Brater: 1 of 2 messages



Today Senator Brater with a number of her Senate colleagues, has introduced a package of 10 bills that would begin to properly regulate large scale concentrated animal feeding operations in Michigan.  The bills, Senate Bills 1063 to 1072, would:

 

·        Establish fees to be deposited in CAFO Clean Up and Enforcement Fund

·        Provide definitions for CAFO-related items

·        Set requirements for CAFO operators and operations

·        Set requirements for animal waste handlers

·        Establish procedures to land apply manure

·        Promote odor mitigation strategies

·        Permit legal action against CAFOs and agencies

·        Establish the CAFO Cleanup and Enforcement Fund

·        Require water withdrawal statements

·        Give back local control over the siting of CAFOs

 

The bills were introduced the day after a hearing in the House Agriculture Committee on a the Animal Factory Polluter Bills (HB 5711-5716) that seek, in part, to deregulate CAFOs and scare victims of CAFOs pollution from submitting complaints to the DEQ. 

In a separate message is the press release from Senator Brater and below that is Sierra Club’s statement on the AG SAFE package.   Please let us know if you have any questions about any of the bills! 

Anne Woiwode

 

 

 

Sierra Club Applauds Introduction of the AG SAFE Bills

Senate Bills will Protect Family Farmers and Rural Communities from Animal Factory Wastes

Statement by Anne Woiwode, State Director, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

February 22, 2006

 

 

            For more than decade, rural Michigan communities and family farmers have seen their health, their quality of life and their economic well-being hurt by the growth of virtually unregulated large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  Today, at least two-hundred of the massive livestock operations operate in Michigan, producing as much animal waste as a city but with no requirement to treat these wastes before they are spread on farm fields or stored in massive open air waste lagoons. 

 

Drinking water in the wells of rural neighbors and in the intake pipes at community drinking water systems downstream are at risk of contamination from run-off and groundwater contamination. Air pollution from CAFOs is making rural neighbors sick and driving down property values as much as 70%.  

 

Over the past year and one half Sierra Club has investigated more 100 animal factories using maps, aerial photos, water sampling and reports from neighbors, and determined that every one of them was either currently causing water pollution or was designed in a way that would lead to water pollution.  Concentrated animal feeding operations are NOT farms, they are industrial operations, but today Michigan law treats them differently than every other industrial operation. 

 

            The AG SAFE package of bills being introduced by Senator Liz Brater is long overdue. The future of agriculture in Michigan depends on strong rural communities, clean air, clean water and healthy land.  Senator Brater’s AG SAFE bills help to make that a reality once again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anne Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Mackinac (Michigan) Chapter

109 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906

517-484-2372   fax 517-484-3108

Enjoy, Explore and Protect -  www.michigan.sierraclub.org

 

"We know what to do. We have everything we need save the political will - which is, after all, a renewable resource. This is the time. This our moral moment and [I am confident] we will rise to the occasion." Former Vice President Albert Gore, at the Sierra Club Summit, September 2005