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E-M:/ Spin city on Air Pollution and CAFOs

It takes a lot of gall to be able to label an intentional effort by the Bush Administration to let CAFOs off the hook for air pollution as “progress”, but the Bushites are certainly doing their best to do it.  This press release is EPA’s announcement that they got enough CAFOs to sign up for immunity from federal enforcement of air quality laws against them for any violations in exchange for being available (though likely not required to participate) in an air quality “study” that will some day, in a distant and far off galaxy, no doubt, actually get information about how today these blasted things are destroying people’s health and well being. 


The stink goes on, folks -- all over Michigan, but particularly in the area where the terrible problems first started.  One hog operation, the State Line Farms, has now received its second air quality violation from the DEQ Air Quality Division.  That first one came after State Line was given its first DEQ notice at the beginning of this year after MDA was unable to get them to voluntarily address the gut rotting stench emitted and harming the well-being and enjoyment of property of at least three homes the facility decided to build in the middle of.  The dumping of wastes from the lagoons at other facilities has gagged and mugged the locals, stealing their property values, destroying their enjoyment of their homes, even making minor things we take for granted miserable exercises.  This is one of the primary times of the year the practice of dumping large amounts of lagoon wastes happens -- yet predicting it makes it no less nauseating.


Stinking, fetid, feculent, stench -- thank goodness for small favors, it is cooling off at night so it is possible to shut the windows and not fry. 


The Bush EPA wants you to believe that this aggressive industry effort by CAFOS to not be held accountable for destroying lives is somehow a great leap forward.  Perhaps we need to prescribe hypnosis for those who actually have lived with this -- simply convincing them that there is no problem would be so much neater from the CAFO huggers.



Anne Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Mackinac (Michigan) Chapter


     News for Release: Tuesday, August 22, 2006

     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

     EPA Takes Important Step in Controlling Air Pollution from Farm
     Country Animal Feeding Operations

     Contact: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

     (Washington, D.C. – August 22, 2006) EPA has just gotten approval
     to take the next important step to gather air emissions data from
     agricultural animal feeding operations (AFOs) and to ensure
     compliance with environmental laws. This step consists of certain
     AFOs voluntarily taking part in a nationwide monitoring study to
     evaluate their air emissions.

     "The AFOs agreements bring us closer to ensuring clean air
     compliance across our nation," said Granta Y Nakayama, EPA's
     Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and
     Compliance Assurance. "This innovative approach will provide the
     best available science to guide EPA's decision making in a way
     that is good for the environment, good for agriculture and good
     for the American people."

     EPA began to realize in the late 1990's that it didn't have
     sufficient air emissions data to determine potential regulatory
     requirements for AFOs under the Clean Air Act (CAA), so to resolve
     the situation it began discussions with AFOs owners in 2001.

     These discussions led to a Jan. 31, 2005 EPA Federal Register
     notice offering individual AFOs an opportunity to voluntarily
     sign-- by Aug. 12, 2005-- a consent agreement committing them to
     conduct a nationwide study to monitor and get a better handle on
     the nature of their air emissions. This consent agreement also
     resolves certain air violations under the Clean Air Act, as well
     as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
     Liability Act (CERCLA) – also known as Superfund – and the
     Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

     EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) just  approved the two
     final voluntary agreements, making a total of 2,568, representing
     1,856 swine, 468 dairy, 204 egg-laying, and 40 broiler chicken
     (meat-bird) operations. These 2,568 agreements represent 6,267
     farms (an AFO can include more than one farm).  Now the
     industry-led monitoring survey can proceed; it is expected to
     begin this winter.

     Within 18 months following the monitoring study's conclusion, EPA
     will evaluate all data and publish emission-estimating methods for
     AFOs.  These methods will allow AFOs to estimate their emissions
     and comply with applicable federal regulatory requirements as
     appropriate.  This approach will achieve compliance with
     environmental laws much faster than any other enforcement

     As an incentive for AFOs to participate, EPA agreed not to bring
     certain enforcement actions against participating AFOs during the
     course of the monitoring survey; however, all participants must
     pay a penalty that is based on the number of animals maintained at
     the operation and must assure compliance with the CAA, CERCLA, and
     EPCRA once EPA publishes the emissions methodology.

     The EAB is an impartial, independent body that acts as the final
     decision maker on administrative appeals under all major
     environmental statutes that EPA administers.

     More information on the AFO Air Compliance Agreement:

      EPA's mission is to protect our nation's land, air and water.
     Citizens can help by reporting potential environmental violations
     at: http://www.epa.gov/tips


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