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E-M:/ CAFO Dereg Bills fall short!

Chuck et al:


Yes, the package of bills promoted by the handful of CAFO operators and the Farm Bureau to deregulate most Michigan CAFOs have hit an effective wall -- the bills were intended to try to exempt most CAFOs in the state from having to apply for NPDES permits by July 1, as required by the state now.  Without action on those bills in the House this week, these bills have fallen short of what the promoters of CAFOs had hoped for.   However, they are clearly not done -- their next step is to try to claim that the state is prohibited from having stricter regulations than federal in terms of CAFOs, and throw roadblocks in the way of the DEQ protecting the waters of the state and the public health of people downstream and down wind. 


Keep in mind that the MAXIMUM number of businesses affected by this are somewhere under 150 today, and because multiple operations may be owned by a single business or owner, the number is even less.  That is compared to 53,000 real farms in Michigan -- the wealthy, connected and greedy CAFO lobby in Michigan continues to try to hide behind the tens of thousands of Michigan farmers who gain nothing from this small groups’ efforts to get special treatment under the law, and in fact many farmers are hurt by CAFOs in their communities.  Contaminated water, in streams or wells, and unbreathable air, as well as impacts on local infrastructure, are all hurting neighboring farmers as much or more than anyone else.


Even more important -- after the pro-CAFO pollution forces have done their best to distract the Legislature from the real issues, including the desperate need to STRENGTHEN the laws now regarding CAFO pollution, it is critical for all of us to keep talking to our Legislators about the problems and urge them to act to FIX the bad laws that leave our state’s communities and families vulnerable to potentially deadly pollution from CAFOs.  Before I’ve talked about hoping it wouldn’t take a disaster to force the Legislature’s hand -- we have seen disasters in the situation with Vreba Hoff Dairy LLC, but seen the pro-CAFO spinners claim that pollution is only an issue with “bad actors” like Vreba Hoff.  Now my hope is that it at least won’t take documented deaths from polluted water or air from CAFOs for the Legislature to step up and fix the terrible problems with the law.


Anne Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

(517) 484-2372


From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of Chuck Cubbage
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 2:03 PM
To: Janet Kauffman; enviro-mich
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Jack Lessenberry -" Let's pollute our water!"



According to my State Rep, the Senate CAFO bills, although passed, will not be taken up in the House and thus is effectively dead for this year.