In article 2 of the Kazoo Gazette series there is reporting of people objecting to the odors from the CAFO near them, but the vast majority of space is given over to proponents or excuse makers for the CAFOs.
Anne Woiwode, State Director
email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Anne Woiwode
Additional articles have shown up in the Kalamazoo Gazette
on CAFOs, and finally the bottom line becomes clear. Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development,
the Wal-Mart or McDonalds of CAFO propagators in
The comments from the Vreba Hoff spokesperson do such injustice to the very legitimate concerns of people who are actually paying attention, looking at the reality on the ground in their community and running into the brick wall in Michigan that pretty much says until the poop hist the creek, any CAFO is good to go. And once the poop is in the creek, it is far too often millions of dollars, and usually years, if ever, before the community can get back to what everyone in this state and country deserve -- unpolluted water and air. The Township Supervisor points out that, like a lot of these facility proposals, there was no effort to engage the locals in the discussion about the proposal -- why talk to people who understand what a threat you pose to their community when the political balance is in favor of shoving it through now because the law favors these facilities over virtually every other industry or other activity in your community?
In addition, while the articles do post the Pew Charitable Trusts recent, extremely detailed and comprehensive report on Industrial Farm Animal Production (http://www.ncifap.org/ ), the only other link is to something called the Animal Agriculture Alliance, which despite their pretty website is pretty much the complete list of the biggest pushers of CAFOs in the country, specifically:
Where is the Gazette’s reporting on
the other side? Where is the conversation
with people in
Where is the mention that Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development
operations have had a significantly less than stellar performance record in the
three states where these facilities are being propagated? In 2005, of the
33 Vreba Hoff Dairy Development operations set up in
While it will be argued that one should not judge the proposed Bustorf facility by the record of the Vreba Hoff Dairy Development’s other ventures, the question should definitely be how will Mr. Bustorf distinguish himself from these facilities? The contention that the Michigan DEQ permitting process sets “a tough standard” may be accurate, but what it ISN’T is a plan to PREVENT pollution from CAFOs. DEQ has resisted the requirement that the permit seekers provide complete information regarding the proposed facility for public review and DEQ review before the permit is issued. In fact the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that this information was required in a ruling issued earlier this year in a case brought by Sierra Club, but DEQ is appealing that ruling to the Supreme Court instead of complying.
While more information is provided now in the permitting process as a result both of public demand for that information, legal efforts by Sierra Club and increased experience by DEQ with the unbelievably bad problems posed by poorly designed and operated CAFOs, the permit is only as effective as the ability of the agency to assure that it is being followed. The CAFO program now takes in less than 10% in fees of the cost to the DEQ of handling permits, doing enforcement, etc., and as anyone on this list knows DEQ’s funding is in the tank, leading to handing some programs back to the EPA. Groups like the Farm Bureau want to even remove the requirement for permits for CAFOS, taking away even the ability to know that there is a facility being built, but fortunately DEQ has been adamant, despite the strain, that this would be unacceptable.
I hope that the final article today makes up for all the deficits, but even then the presentation with such positive spin up front will outweigh a balanced presentation on the issues.
Anne M. Woiwode, State Director
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