In what we believe to be the first of its kind, the Michigan DEQ has denied a proposed NPDES permit for a CAFO in St. Joseph County, MI! The Bustdorf Dairy CAFO proposed NPDES permit was denied according to a briefing memo by the DEQ that accompanies the denial, because there were very strong showings by the township, local businesses and residents, a WMU professor, Republicans for Environmental Protection, and the Huron Potawatomi Tribe that demonstrated “considerable disagreement on the validity of the assertions made by the applicant” regarding social and economic benefits.
“Overall, the conclusion is evident that although there may be some social or economic benefit to the area, this benefit is clearly not considered important social or economic benefit. Therefore, the Department determines pursuant to Rule 323.1098(5) that the Antidegradation demonstration failed to show that lowering of water quality is necessary to support important social and economic development in the area and the applicant cannot meet the requirements of Rule 323.1098.”
DEQ has previously denied a proposed human sewage lagoon for a manufactured housing facility based on similar lack of demonstration of social and economic benefit juxtaposed to the effect on water quality.
Kudos to the DEQ Water Bureau staff who made the right decision here!
Anne M. Woiwode, State Director
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter - 109 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906 - 517-484-2372 firstname.lastname@example.org
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