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E-M:/ MDEQ busts dairy



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2006  

Contact:  Robert McCann
               (517) 241-7397

DEQ Resolves Water Quality Violations at Kent County Dairy

The Department of Environmental Quality announced today that it has entered into an Administrative Consent Order with Swisslane Dairy Farms, Inc., a large concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) located in Alto, Kent County.  The ACO resolves an enforcement action taken after Swisslane experienced its fourth documented discharge to Pratt Lake Creek, a tributary to Tyler Creek within the Coldwater River Watershed.           

Discharges of nutrients, pathogens, and organic materials such as those that occurred at Swisslane have long been recognized by the DEQ as a significant cause of water quality impairment in the state.

While the ACO was being negotiated, Swisslane installed two additional large storage structures to contain manure and other wastewater produced at its dairy operation.  Swisslane also agreed to develop a Storm Water Management Plan for the purpose of ensuring that all clean production area storm water is properly diverted and all storm water that comes in contact with polluting materials is effectively contained and managed.

"It's encouraging to see owners of large farms step up to the plate and make necessary improvements to their operations in order to ensure our water resources are not being put at risk," said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester.  "This demonstrates that by working together, we can both promote agriculture and protect Michigan's environment at the same time."

Swisslane has also agreed to pay a civil fine of $15,000 to the state's general fund and will also partially reimburse the DEQ for $2,000 in enforcement costs.  Swisslane further agreed to pay additional amounts to the general fund should future violations of settlement terms occur.

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"Protecting Michigan's Environment, Ensuring Michigan's Future"

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