CAFO opposition takes scientific and legal steps

from local sources


A Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) was proposed in this area last fall. Despite the White Lake Area’s unanimous spoken opposition at the MDEQ hearing on Jan. 10, 2018, to such a huge industrial swine facility — being built above the Flower Creek watershed in Claybanks Township — the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality declared, on May 10, that it is NOT a danger to Michigan Waters!

ROAD (Reviving our American Democracy), through its CAFO Resistance Committee, is shocked to see that a factory farm producing 1.5 million gallons of manure each year is allowed so close to wetlands and a waterway discharging into Lake Michigan less than two miles away.

We are also dismayed to see the Marsh family has renamed their proposed facility the Flower Creek Swine-CAFO, an insult to the waterway that they plan to use, essentially, as their facility’s toilet.

The small piece of good news in all of this is that the MDEQ will require a little more oversight over how the waste is distributed (manifested) on nearby farmlands. The Individual Permit issued requires the CAFO and those purchasing or being given portions of the manure to file their Manifest Forms at MDEQ,. This, presumably, is so that the professionals there, as well as the public, can keep a close eye on what amounts of pig manure with what components with potential harm to the environment are being spread on the land nearby.

The CAFO committee has engaged a leading environmental law firm in Michigan. This firm is preparing to file for a contested case hearing with MDEQ and will initiate other legal actions as necessary to prevent the CAFO from being constructed.

It is particularly urgent to slow down this disaster so that baseline data on Flower Creek can be collected before the CAFO construction starts, creating its own run-off.  The baseline study approved through MDEQ and conducted  with assistance of the Annis Water Resources Institute began already and is scheduled to be completed in Oct. 2018.

The CAFO Resistance Committee has helped fund this careful scientific study through donations to the cause, but the legal actions will involve considerable ongoing expense.  The public is encouraged to visit  for an online option (click on the “Go Fund Me” pigs)  or check/snail mail option (click on Donate Now and scroll to bottom).