Wednesday, April 11, 2007

IDEM Getting Tough On CAFOS

IDEM Commissioner Tom Easterly is threatening to revoke the permits of two of the state's largest dairies after recent manure spills polluted local streams. The Lafayette Journal and Courier reports:

Two huge dairy farms could lose their state permits as a result of recent manure spills, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management said.

IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly warned in a statement Tuesday that Union-Go Dairy in Randolph County and De Groot Dairy in Huntington County faced crackdowns stemming from two spills this month.

"My staff and I intend to act swiftly to address the serious non-compliance issues at the livestock operations responsible for these emergency spills," Easterly said. "IDEM will work to the fullest extent of its authority to pursue administrative action and penalties in these cases, and determine whether permit revocations are appropriate.

"Last week, workers at the 1,650-cow Union-Go Dairy set up a dam so they could pump manure out of Sparrow Creek near Winchester after manure fouled about two miles of the stream.On Monday, manure runoff from the 1,400-cow De Groot Dairy about 30 miles southwest of Fort Wayne entered a small stream that feeds into the Salamonie Reservoir, IDEM said.

The Associated Press left a phone message seeking comment Tuesday night at Union-Go Dairy. There was no published listing for De Groot Dairy or owner Johannes De Groot.

Both dairies are concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, operated
by Dutch immigrants.

Governor Daniels made it a priority to expand pork production in the state during his tenure, encouraging the siting of large, livestock confinement operations. Waste disposal is a major concern with these operations. One large CAFO can create as much waste as a small city. But unlike the small city, the operators are not required to build waste water treatment facilities to deal with the waste. Instead, the manure is stored in man-made lagoons and spread over area farmland as fertilizer. The negative environmental impact from runoff from Midwestern CAFOS is felt in waterways leading all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.


Anonymous said...

Since my job entail environmental management this story jumped out at me from today's paper. I sent to my boss who lives in Florida which has highly controlled measures do to the ground water down there.

This can be controlled. You need to set up a program, and most states have a program that if you ask them to come in and look at your facility they will, but if they find something you must FIX it.

Wilson46201 said...

You can take the boi out of Marshall but you can't take the Marshall out of the boi !

Anonymous said...

It only took them two years to figure this out.

Wonder how long it will take them to figure out the negative impact of pumping unlimited amounts of water from non-renewable underground aquifers to supply all these new ethanol plants?

Anonymous said...

Pork's Dirty Secret: The nation's top hog producer is also one of America's worst polluters

Anonymous said...

4/11/2007 3:56:09 PM

Press Release:

Statement by Indiana Agriculture Director Andy Miller

“Recently the Indiana Department of Environmental Management responded to manure runoff complaints from two large dairy farms, one in Randolph County and one in Huntington County. The majority of Hoosier livestock farmers work hard to comply with the strict environmental regulations covering manure storage, handling and land application. However, when these requirements are not met, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture supports swift regulatory action to correct and penalize these errors. Livestock operations are a valuable part of our state’s economy and supply us with affordable, nutritious food, but they are only valuable and accepted when they are properly managed.”

Source: Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Anonymous said...

In 1978, a friend's son was canoeing down the Tippecanoe River in Pulaski County. He cut his foot badly on the aluminum canoe somehow.

He removed his shoe to treat the wound. That foot came into contact with the water.

He was dead in a week.

The culprit? Rancidly polluted water from a multiple hog and chicken farms upstream. Their sewage had seeped into the river.

Farmers have been allowed to dump millions of tons of chemicials on fields with almost no training and oversight. Ditto the settling ponds for animal waste.

Action against polluting farmers is deacades overdue. And these monsterously huge confined feed operations are often even more offensive.