Not only that – the Farm Bureau is working hard to weaken Michigan’s already weak regulations governing animal factories, which is a likely source of tons of animal sewage flowing into the Bay. Animal factories want to be exempted from a July deadline requiring them to obtain a pollution discharge permit. The animal factories, the Farm Bureau, and members of the Senate Ag committee believe that CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations or animal factories) should be allowed to regulate themselves under voluntary guidelines. One provision of proposed legislation (SB 501-504) would make any discharge from an animal factory participating in the voluntary program LEGAL – regardless of the quantity of sewage and the danger it poses to the public.
If you care about Saginaw Bay (or any of Michigan’s waters), please contact Senator Jerry VanWoerkom and Sen. Patty Birkholz and let them know that Saginaw Bay, and all of Michigan’s waterways have too much sewage in them from animal factories. Rather than weakening the state’s laws governing CAFOs, we need to make them much stronger. The people who live near these facilities and all of Michigan is suffering from their horrible pollution.
A Michigan State University scientist recently said that Saginaw Bay muck is a potential health hazard, because testing in the Thumb has found high levels of E. coli bacteria in the washup. Krygier said the muck was as deep as 4 feet along the shore, and he and Coonan each got their tractors stuck in the beginning. An excavator came in handy to clear out the goop that was piled in mounds more than 6 feet high on Wednesday.
This is the state of the Saginaw Bay/Lake Huron area. All the while, Chamber of Commerce is trying to promote tourism in this area?
And now legislatures want to eliminate the DEQ to rely on George Bush's EPA?
But then again, how effective has DEQ been, given the gross state of our local Saginaw/Bay City/Midland watershed?
There was nothing mentioned about Dow Chemical's unprecedented dioxin contamination that has poisoned the fish and wildlife in this area, either. It's not safe for Tittabawassee River property owners children to play in their yards, but is it okay for people to bathe in it?