In the last 13 years, 13 livestock factories, most of them dairies, have been built in our area – see map of locations. Large livestock operations that confine animals year-round are called Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan (ECCSCM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, organized to educate the public on the health risks and the environmental damage Confined Animal Feeding Operations have brought to our community and its watersheds. We developed this website to provide documentation on the pollution and to promote Sustainable Alternatives (buy local food & pasture-based meat--see sources). We support vanguard, responsible agriculture, farming that looks ahead to the next generations, preserves biodiversity, raises animals in a healthy environment, does no harm to its neighbors, enhances the natural assets of living communities, and protects our natural resources -- air, soils, groundwater, streams, and lakes.
As family farmers and neighbors, we believe agriculture must take responsibility for its actions in rural communities. CAFOs have failed us. They have damaged our farming communities, degraded our natural resources, and polluted our watersheds.
Winter 2014 Newsletter
ECCSCM supports the prohibition of winter application of manure – in Michigan's CAFO permit (undergoing revision), in the Michigan Agricultural Environment Assurance Program (MAEAP) Standards, and in Michigan's Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs). In late 2013, 2 important reports from the International Joint Commission and the Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force, multi-national, multi-agency groups studying Lake Erie's excess nutrient/toxic algae crisis, both recommended that winter application of manure be banned in Lake Erie watersheds. One of the highest risk agricultural practices, manure on snow-covered or frozen ground, an impervious surface, has nowhere to go when it rains or melts except off the field and into streams. See the IJC Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority Draft Report and the Ohio Phosphorus Task Force Final Report.
FIND THE CAFOS IN YOUR AREA – Click on this Food & Water Watch map
Living a Nightmare: Animal Factories in Michigan
Untreated CAFO waste is liquified with clean groundwater – instantly polluted – then pumped to cesspits or holding "lagoons" until it is pumped again and injected or sprayed onto fields around Hudson (pop. 2500). Some manure makes good fertilizer. But too much manure, especially the liquid manure from CAFOs, is a major pollutant of soils and waterways. Animal manure and and animal carcasses contain many pathogens (disease-causing organisms such as Cryptosporidium, E. coli bacteria, Listeria – see a comprehensive list of pathogens and symptoms posted by the Environmental Protection Agency). These pathogens can threaten human health, other livestock, aquatic life, and wildlife when introduced into the environment.
When liquid manure enters streams or lakes, it is called a discharge. Discharges that violate Michigan's water quality standards are illegal.
CAFOs in this area, all of them, have discharged illegally. Since 2000, there have been 1,101 violations and discharges, many of them multiple-day violations, confirmed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in the Hudson area (see violations list). A 100% failure rate in pollution prevention.
On the Local Pollution pages,
look at what we see around here every day -- waste-polluted water, silage
leachate runoff, drainage tile discharges, the destruction of vegetation
along streams, violations of manure management practices. Too bad the
photos aren't Scratch & Sniff!