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E-M:/ Vreba Hoff Update-The Pollution & Violations Continue

Vreba Hoff Dairy Pollution Update - March 22, 2007


Aggressive regulatory action by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has yet to put a stop to the pollution at the Vreba Hoff Dairy CAFOs in Lenawee County.


According to a letter from the DEQ’s Water Bureau to Seven Vanderhoff, owner/operator of Vreba Hoff’s two dairy facilities dated March 14, the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) continues to pollute.


Between the dates of February 26 and March 7 the DEQ documented numerous additional water quality violations of both the Vreba Hoff I and Vreba Hoff II facilities. Some of the findings of DEQ inspections included the following:


  • Leachate storage structures in violation of freeboard requirements (meaning the pit could overflow in heavy rain)
  • Overflow of leachate structure
  • Careless transfer of waste to satellite storage units
  • Discharges to Durfee Creek
  • Failure of facility to notify DEQ of freeboard violations, overflows and discharges of leachate and waste
  • Small leachate transfer structure flooding into feed bunker and overflowing into storm drains
  • DEQ staff observed “significant, ongoing, storm water issues due to sloppy management.”


More technical details on the violations contained in the March 14 letter can be obtained from the DEQ’s Water Bureau at (517) 780-7917.


The news of Vreba Hoff’s continuing violations come on the heels of additional reports to the Sierra Club of discharges of animal waste in Clinton County and other parts of the state. Between spring rains and the spring spreading of animal waste on fields, this year could be a banner year for sewage discharges from animal factories into Michigan’s waterways.



Gayle Miller

Legislative Director

Sierra Club

109 E. Grand River Ave.

Lansing, MI 48906

ph - (517) 484-2372

fax - (517) 484-3108



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Watch the Sierra Club's Documentary, "Living a Nightmare: Animal Factories in Michigan"