Thanks to diligent readers for correcting some of my information.
First, Pere Marquette park and beach are
Also, I said Black River -- should have
said Black Creek, which flows into
And, just to be clear, I didn’t want to say that CAFO wastes were responsible for this E.coli incident -- what I wanted to say is that they can’t be eliminated, especially since so much CAFO waste is generated in these two counties.
Anne Woiwode, State Director
Behalf Of Anne Woiwode
The very day the Senate voted out bills
to dramatically weaken regulation of CAFOs, the Muskegon Chronicle reported the
first beach closing of the year. Pere
According to the most recent info we
have from state agencies, there are 1 each permitted CAFOs in Muskegon and
Newaygo Counties, one pending CAFO permit in Muskegon, and 6 MAEAP verified
CAFOs in the two counties (including one that is also a permitted
facility). The info doesn’t identify watersheds so there may be
additional facilities in this watershed, and some of these may be in the Grand
Just for comparison, the 2006 US Census
One health department official speculated a passing boat might have been responsible for the E.coli, apparently there has not been rain recently to wash wastes into the waterways. However, as has been increasingly documented the beaches and soils can actually keep the E.coli viable for many months, so it is possible the growing about of wastes from CAFOs and perhaps other sources have infested the beach or underwater soils up stream so no new flush of rain is needed to elevate levels. In addition, a recent study still under peer review that was presented in testimony before the State Senate Ag Committee found that CAFOs were discharging into waterways even when there was no rainfall.
So the summer is kicked off with closed beaches and efforts to virtually eliminate the water pollution agency of the state from authority to do anything about it for the vast majority of these facilities. For all the weaknesses of the DEQ on this issue to date, the effort by Senator Van Woerkom, Senator Birkholz, Senator Gilbert, Senator Barcia, Senator Brown, Senator Cropsey and others to weaken the existing system is bound to make the situation even worse.
Be sure to send postcards to your Senator from the beach this summer --
coli closes Pere
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
By Lynn Mooreand Eric Gaertner
First it was algae, then it was E. coli.
Considered by some to be
The advisory, which was lifted late this morning, came on the heels of an algae bloom at the beach that kept swimmers out of the water last weekend.
Health officials don't know what caused the elevated E. coli.
Anne M. Woiwode, State Director, Sierra Club
517-484-2372 fax 517-484-3108 -- firstname.lastname@example.org
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