What the Birdie Sees

ECCSCM has been concerned about the recent heavy rains and some things we’ve been seeing from the road, so we sent Lighthawk up into the air to get some aerial photos.

Canandaigua Rd., Medina Township (Bean/Tiffin/Maumee).  What is this?  Parked in a 12-acre wetland, intermittent natural stream to Covell Drain, eventually to Bean Creek 

draglines, the pump, the generator, the lighting setup, and the rigid tile pipe outlet into the stream

Even more mysterious – what’s with all these draglines, the pump, the generator, the lighting setup, and the rigid tile pipe outlet into the stream?
Medina Canandaigua 1 annotated zoom snip 5.31.2019
Birdie flies north, to Hoffland Dairy, Haley Rd., Hudson Township.  (Bear Creek/Raisin)
Tractor, lagoon, pump, dragline going to where, exactly?
Hoffland north of facility
 Hoffland north of facility
Ooops!  Is that Bakerlads’ constructed wetlands, built to filter out contaminants, with the filtering chamber of wetlands plants completely submerged?  Or is it just another pond being used to store CAFO waste?
Here’s what it used to look like back in 2013, with the filtering wetlands chamber intact.  That’s a tributary to the South Branch of the Raisin right next to it, on the left.
Bakerlads' Constructed Wetlands in 2013, with the filtering wetlands chamber intact
Here’s what it looked like on Friday, May 31, 2019, from the opposite angle with the South Branch on the right.
Bakerlads constructed wetlands 5.31.2019
The intrepid Birdie flies on.
To Terrehaven.  Runoff everywhere, from the back barns to the east side of the front barns to the west side of the front barns.  Silage (cattle feed, with the white tarps and tires) on both sides of the manure pile.  Too much to describe.  Birdie got a little sick at this one, but kept on flying.
Terrehaven back barns manure over barrier
Terrehaven front barns manure over stockpile barrier
West side of front barns, barriers missing, runoff flowing into small wetland pond on property
Terrehaven front west barrier removed
Weakened but still strong at heart, Birdie flies on.
Van Brunt manure compost (or should we call it “Con-post”?) pile on Forrister Rd., Rome Township, which recently received a violation notice from the State of Michigan for runoff ponding around this tile riser, discharge into Hazen Creek (South Branch, Raisin).  Zoom in to see that runoff to the tile riser is coming from the back where the fresh manure is added, not where the “berm” was constructed to prevent it.
Van Brunt
Birdie has two really good questions.  Given that a violation notice with remediation conditions was issued on April 25, 2019, and nothing has been done to improve anything at the site since then, why is fresh manure still allowed to be added?  Second, why are the two NPDES-permitted CAFOs involved still allowed to manifest manure to this recipient?
Birdie decides to see how things are at our large CAFO-but-doesn’t-have-a-permit, Warner Farms, Franklin Township.  Rexford, Coleman, and Kerr Drains. (Fisk Creek/Black Creek/South Branch, Raisin)
Same old story, different day.  ECCSCM has been reporting this to both US EPA and EGLE for years, EPA is leaving everything up to EGLE.
Runoff from silage piles.
Warner silage runoff onto road across field
What the heck is this thing?  Zoom to see structure across the road from the silage runoff, midway down the photo on the right (east) side of the road, pipe coming out of the ground and open end over catch basin.
Warner runoff south from silage piles, ponding around structure
Birdie’s depressed.  Here’s New Flevo, Forrister Rd., Rome Township.  (Hazen Creek/South Branch Raisin)
Runoff from new addition to barn, for more animals.  Looks like the dirt piles aren’t working.
New Flavo Dairy runoff from new barn
What’s happening here?  Is this a dragline setup from one of the lagoons? A mystery!
New Flavo Dairy pumped from lagoon ponding around tile riser annotated
What’s this?  The open end of a dragline hose that just happens to be where the ponding starts?
New Flavo Dairy pumped from lagoon ponding around tile riser annotated 2
Where, exactly, is all that ponding going?  Birdie flies around to see from the opposite direction.  Is that orange thing at the other end of the ponding a tile riser (to Hazen Creek and then to the South Branch of the Raisin)?  Why yes, yes it is!
New Flavo Dairy lagoon runoff pumped to tile riser
This is just a tiny bit of what’s happening all over the region.
There’s a whole lot more that we could post, but Birdie needs to take some time to recover from PTSD.  We’ve reported all of the potential incidents found to the proper authorities and it’s up to them to investigate.
In all seriousness – it is a disaster here.  The stench is hellish for miles around these farms.  Not just here, but everywhere that’s been hit by recent heavy rainfall where CAFOs are located.
Please keep Birdie, and all the other people who are stuck here in CAFO-land, in your thoughts.

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