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E-M:/ Re: MORE: anaerobic digestors, other sustainability issues.



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Enviro-Mich message from "Lowell Prag" <lprag@mail.msen.com>
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Hello Michelle,

I am posting your below response to me on this discussion group, as I
think it will help inform readers as to why we need a utilization of
anaerobic digestors in Michigan and also, the fact that your Michigan
Department of Agriculture is leading the way.

All of the efforts you cite below to make anaerobic composting a success
are good but funding remains a major problem, as anaerobic digestors are
expensive. Performance contracting, cooperatives, and other alternative
ways of financing need to be explored.

There are also other issues of sustainability that need to be addressed:

Our continued reliance on the petrol-chemical industry for fertilizers,
rather than a comprehensive utilization of composting, nitrogen fixing
legume cover crops, natural soil amendments such as rock phosphate for
phosphorus, greensand for potassium, kelp for trace elements, etc.

Our continued reliance on the petrol-chemical industry for pesticides and
herbicides, rather than a comprehensive utilization of Integrated Pest
Management (IPM).

Our continued reliance on huge mega farms which are destroying our small
family farms.

Our rush to utilize GMO's which will eventually destroy our open
pollinated    plant diversity.

Our reliance on land fills and incinerators, rather than a comprehensive
recycling program which utilizes both aerobic and anaerobic composting as
part of the solution.

Etc.

In short, Michigan has no long term plans for sustainability.

Regards,

Lowell Prag

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On Wed, June 20, 2007 9:56 am, Michelle Crook wrote:

Lowell,

This is an important priority for MDA.  We are also in the process of
developing an operator training program to provide the level of
assurance that currently exists with municipal wastewater operators.
That coupled with the better engineering will hopefully provide us with
better, long lasting systems and eliminate the failures of the past.
MDA is staying very involved in understanding the operation of the
digesters and is working to document the environmental performance.  Not
only are we behind Europe, we are also behind several other state's,
such as New York, Wisconsin and California but the good news is that
Michigan is making significant strides.  Digesters can be a very
important tool in the sustainable residuals management plan for the
livestock and food processing industries which are very important to
Michigan's economy.

Michelle

Michelle F. Crook, P.E.
Environmental Stewardship Division
Michigan Department of Agriculture
517-335-2487
Fax: 517-335-3329

>>> "Lowell Prag" <lprag@mail.msen.com> 06/19/07 4:54 PM >>>
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Enviro-Mich message from "Lowell Prag" <lprag@mail.msen.com>
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On Tue, June 19, 2007 12:45 pm, Michelle Crook wrote:

... see below ...

Hello Michelle,

It should be an important priority of Michigan's Department of
Agriculture
to document in detail the new anaerobic digestors in Michigan, as in the
prior infancy of this technology, there were many failures due in part
to
the engineering and also in part, the ignorance of the operators.

Anaerobic digestors are now a mature technology which can greatly aid in
not only the anaerobic composting of manure and other agricultural waste
products to obtain energy but also, the utilization of various municipal
organic waste matter to obtain energy and help rid us of land fills and
incinerators.

In short, we are many years behind Europe in the utilization of
anaerobic
composting for both agricultural and municipal applications.

Regards,

Lowell Prag

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On Tue, June 19, 2007 12:45 pm, Michelle Crook wrote:

There are currently 3 anaerobic digesters installed on concentrated
animal feeding operations in Michigan.  Two of those are have been
operational for over a year and the third will begin operation this
week.  In addition there are several projects being planned and
constructed across the state.  These are in various phases from
conceptual to completing construction.  They are a mix of single farms
and regional systems.  One of the operating digesters is utilizing the
methane to heat their boiler, one is cleaning the gas to pipeline
quality for sale to the natural gas company.  The third will be
generating electricity and selling that back to the grid.

Michelle

Michelle F. Crook, P.E.
Environmental Stewardship Division
Michigan Department of Agriculture
517-335-2487
Fax: 517-335-3329


>>> Larry Nooden <ldnum@umich.edu> 6/19/2007 11:10 AM >>>

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Enviro-Mich message from Larry Nooden <ldnum@umich.edu>
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For better or worse, you have hit on an important point.  The improved

ability to capture the methane produced may be an argument for
concentrating these feeding operations.

For my part, however, I think I will shift more toward vegetarianism.

--On Tuesday, June 19, 2007 10:07 AM -0400 Anna Dorothy Graham
<grahama9@msu.edu> wrote:

>
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> Enviro-Mich message from "Anna Dorothy Graham" <grahama9@msu.edu>
>
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>
> Just out of curiosity, is anyone in Michigan working on methane
> reclamation using wastes from CAFOs?
> Anna
> Anna Kirkwood Graham, J.D., Ph.D.
> "There is no trifling with nature; it is always true, grave and
severe;
> it is always in the right, and the faults and errors fall to our
share."
>  -- Goethe
>
>
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and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
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