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RE: E-M:/ Is Vreba-Hoff violating water diversion laws?

Hi Marc --
My point is that water can be used as a vehicle or carrier in many more ways than just this case. One of the problems here, as I see it, is the precedent for greater mischief.  It's possible that, under the pretense of being used as a carrier, water could be exported for sale.  In other words, water could be taken out of the basin as a vehicle for some other substance, separated and then applied for a commercial purpose not permitted under state or federal law.  
Nor is this a matter of what or how much water is 'gone.'  Lots of water leaves the basin lawfully, indeed unavoidably.  Just look at the St. Lawrence River emptying into the Atlantic.  In processing fluid milk or cheese, all of the water, pure or nearly pure, is not separated and diverted, as in the instant case. 
So, considering one of your observations, the issue is not the quantity of water involved.  The issue is the commercialization of the basin's water and somebody getting their foot in the door.
If the powdered milk processor was in Cleveland or Chicago, i.e. within the basin, my argument wouldn't apply.
Or, if the processor only sought to market one ingredient, such as protein or butterfat (without separating virtually pure water), my argument might not apply.
Mark my words, if not addressed, this situation will come back to haunt us.
--  Jim Lang 

Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2009 18:39:07 +0000
From: mgroenleer@comcast.net
To: lang.sc.oak@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Is Vreba-Hoff violating water diversion laws?

I understand your point, but with respect to the GLC and our water laws as currently written, I think it is a "distinction without a difference".

Many Michigan dairies export milk.  Michigan is the 9th largest dairy state with approximately 4% of total US milk production.  Is your objection to only production of powdered milk out of state?  What about processing as fluid milk or into cheese?  The water is just as "gone" from the watershed as is the extracted water from powdered milk production.
I would love to see Michigan get more into the "value added" segments of agricultural (cheese, evaporated, and powdered milk) as a supplement to the production of just commodities (milk).  I applaud the State in trying to help this effort through their agricultural processing renaissance zones.

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Lang" <lang.sc.oak@hotmail.com>
To: mgroenleer@comcast.net
Sent: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 1:05:25 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: RE: E-M:/ Is Vreba-Hoff violating water diversion laws?

Thanks for your post, Marc.  The distinction I'm trying to make here is that the water, which probably makes up 99% of the export, is extracted at a location out of state and out of the watershed.  In other words, the water is merely a vehicle, not part of the end product.  It's treated as waste or perhaps used as a separate by-product, but in any case, its value was only as a carrier, not part of a final product, as would be the case with whole fruit or vegetables.  Am I making any sense?  -- Jim Lang

Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2009 17:42:50 +0000
From: mgroenleer@comcast.net
To: lang.sc.oak@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Is Vreba-Hoff violating water diversion laws?

I think you will find that exporting water in milk is considered no different than all the other agricultural products exported from the state.  For example, fruits and vegetables, canned, fresh, frozen, etc.  Therefore, I don't think it is violation of the GLC or the new water conservation laws.

If you did the math, I'm pretty sure you would find that much, much more water leaves the state as fruit and vegetable moisture and/or canning liquid than is exported in milk. 

Marc E. Groenleer, P.E.
Groenleer Consulting, Inc.
2020 Monroe Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49505-6255
616.363.2480 (fax)
616.889.9780 (cell)

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Lang" <lang.sc.oak@hotmail.com>
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Sent: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 10:40:10 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: E-M:/ Is Vreba-Hoff violating water diversion laws?

Another aspect of this ongoing abomination is that Vreba-Hoff is exporting Michigan water in the form of milk by the tanker load to Kentucky, where our water is extracted and diverted from the Great Lakes basin during the production of powdered milk. 
This diversion contravenes the the Great Lakes Compact, preceding interstate agreements and Michigan's new water conservation laws.  The challenge should be met aggressively by state officials.
Citizens ought to express their displeasure to their state representative, state senator and the governor.
Citizens may also want to inquire about the positions of would-be-governor LG Cherry and would-be-governor AG Cox.
Not to meet this challenge would set a dangerous precedent.
--  Jim Lang






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