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Fwd: E-M:/ holiday weekend & CAFO pollution---Tell Granholm and Cox to Put a Stop to It!

Enviro-Mich message from "Michigan Beachwalker" <mibeachwalker@gmail.com>

Janet Kaufman wrote:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Janet Kauffman <jkauffman@emich.edu>
Date: Nov 27, 2006 12:37 PM
Subject: E-M:/ holiday weekend & CAFO pollution
To: enviro-mich <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>, Rep Dudley Spade

Another holiday weekend, another seige of CAFO pollution -- awful emissions from several CAFOs applying liquid manure to bare ground, and illegal discharges through field tiles to two Lake Erie watersheds, River Raisin and Bean/Tiffin.

See black water photos from manure discharge to Covell Drain flowing
to Bean Creek.

Action by the Governor and Attorney General is long overdue on the CAFO catastrophes in this state. If everyone on Enviro-Mich would take the time to send the letter below, maybe we will see more action. Feel free to copy and paste this into your word processor and enclose in your Holiday card to Governor Granholm...

December 1, 2006

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Michigan State Capitol Building
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Dear Governor Granholm:

Congratulations on your reelection to office for another four years.

I am writing to bring to your attention a major public health and
environmental crisis facing the citizens of the State of Michigan.
Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the
establishment of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in our
state.  These operations place a high density of animals onto limited
land areas.  The waste materials generated by these animals are often
spread on agricultural land far beyond the site of the CAFO itself.
These are not family farms.  They are industrial animal production
facilities.  They should be regulated as the polluting industries
which they are under state and federal law.

Operations of CAFOs have been documented by regulatory agencies and
independent scientific researchers to cause a variety of health and
environmental problems throughout Michigan and across the nation.
Economists have also documented their negative impacts on property
values and job losses, both in the area of the actual CAFO operation
and on lands used for CAFO waste disposal and nearby properties.
These facilities are a public nuisance and have a high probability of
violating environmental and human health laws even when run according
to standard practices of the industry.  They represent an urgent
environmental and public health crisis in Michigan.  The November 14,
2006 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives contains five lengthy
scientific review articles which document the negative impacts of
CAFOs on human health, environmental quality, and property values.   A
complete review of the literature cited will provide you with
additional abundant evidence of these concerns.

As the chief executive of our state, I would respectfully request that
you use the powers of your office to do the following:

1.)  Place an immediate moratorium on the establishment, siting or
permitting of any additional CAFOs and on the expansion of any
existing CAFOs in the State of Michigan until such time as their
adverse effects on human health, environmental quality and surrounding
property values is thoroughly assessed and the societal costs of such
facilities can be proven to be less than the benefits of operating
such systems.

2.)  Use your executive authority to immediately ban all applications
of liquid manure and other liquid wastes to land in Michigan.
Research conducted by the MDEQ and by many others throughout the
country show that liquid manure rapidly leaches through agricultural
soils and, particularly in tiled fields, is discharged to contaminate
surface waters and ground waters.  Thus, application of liquid manure
is an indirect discharge of polluting material to the waters of the
State in violation of MCL 324.3109 of the Michigan Natural Resources
and Environmental Protection Act (P.A. 451 of 1994, as amended).
Liquid manure also can be rapidly washed off of the surface of land
and enter surface waters in violation of  section 3109 (a) of the
Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (P.A. 451
of 1994, as amended) and of many sections of the Michigan Public
Health Code and local regulations.  Storage lagoons and application of
liquid manure releases a variety of toxic chemicals, pathogens,
hydrogen sulfide, methane and other toxic gases to the land, water and
atmosphere in violation of Section 324.20101 of the Michigan Compiled
Laws and Article II of the Michigan Constitution.  Animal waste is no
less hazardous than human sewage and should be subjected to the same
treatment requirements.

3.)  Initiate civil and criminal enforcement actions against the
owners and operators of CAFO facilities who have violated Michigan's
statutes, rules and regulations regarding environmental protection and
public health protection.  These polluters should be prosecuted to the
full extent of the law by the Department of Attorney General.

4.) Take additional legal or legislative action to require remediation
and restoration of all natural resources of the state which have been
negatively impacted by CAFO operations and provide equitable relief to
citizens whose health and property values have been impacted by CAFOs.
The first action should be amendments to the Right to Farm Act to
remove CAFOs and other industrial agriculture operations from the
protections afforded to farms under this statute.  These are not
"farms" as envisioned by the RTF Act.

As a public official, you have a sworn duty to uphold the laws of the
State of Michigan and to protect Michigan citizens from the documented
health, environmental, and economic damage which CAFOs cause.  I
expect you to take that duty seriously and to take prompt action on
this crisis.  Michigan should not allow its resources to be
contaminated and its citizens poisoned by these facilities.  Nor can
we afford to have the property values of land and homes owned by
honest, hard-working citizens to be eroded by having these noxious,
polluting facilities brought into more areas of the state.

Please keep me informed of your actions on this matter.


<Your Signature>
<Your Name>
<Your Address>

P.S. Please do not forward this letter on to the MDEQ or MDA for one of their canned response letters. They are the agencies that share responsibility for the sad state of affairs that we are in today.

Cc:	Attorney General Mike Cox
	Senators Levin and Stabenow

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