Archive for the ‘Factory Farms (CAFO)’ Category

Millions of Dead Fish/Birds; First week in 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011

The expression, “like a canary in a coal mine” was used to describe the alarm system for coal miners in the late 19th and early 20th century.  The small birds were brought down into the mines to be a zoological early warning to alert miners of toxic gases or fumes.  The canaries would choke and die earlier than people so the men knew they should take action!

Explanations of large scale bird and  fish deaths over the past 7 days are as follows: hail, lightening, heavy winds fireworks, disease, tornado, upper atmospheric disturbance, mass confusion, hit by something, bird government experiments, power lines, extreme temperatures (hot or cold), massive trauma, struck by a car or my personal favorite, the 2nd coming of Christ.  I think we should add chemicals to the list ~ Don’t you?  The experts may be overlooking several chemicals because they do not consider these chemicals to be deadly.  Why? Because the same chemicals are found in 90% of every man, woman and child in the USA.  One more thing, pollution and poison HAS been ruled out.  I believe that ruling out “pollution” is unwarranted and too early.

Fish Kill Aug. 2010

New Years Eve ~ between 3,000-5,000 dead red-winged black birds in Ozark, AR fell to earth.  The very next day, 125 miles away, 80,000-100,000 drum fish died on a 20 mile stretch of the Arkansas River.
I called the Army Core of Engineers (ACE) in Arkansas to find out if Beebe was downstream of Ozark – NO – Little Rock is downstream.  I asked if something like a chemical could have been spread by air carrying the winds southeast to Beebe and landing in the streams.  ACE stated, “It is unlikely because the fish are bottom feeders…it may be a disease. The birds dying at the same time is just a coincidence.”

The fish died on a 20 mile stretch on the Arkansas River near Ozark, AR and the 3-5,000 birds died just 125 miles south-east of Ozark in Beebe, AR.  Two days later, 300 miles due south, 500 red winged black birds die in Louisiana. Coincidence…but the deaths keep coming!

Jan. 4, 2011 ~ Now if that were not enough fowlness, Louisiana’s sky drops 500 blackbirds and starlings.

Jan. 4.  Mullet Ladyfish, Catfish found dead in the thousands; Port Orange, FL said to be largest fish kill seen there.

Jan 5, 2011 ~ Two million fish wash up on shore and is considered the biggest fish kill in Chesapeake Bay, MD since 1980.

Jan 7, 2010 ~Around 10,000 menhaden fish were found dead on the shores of Folly Beach, NC.

Jan. 7, 2011 ~Western Kentucky, hundreds of grackles, robins, starlings and blackbirds die mysteriously. 

Articles all over the world have been discussing their own wildlife deaths: Vietnam, Sweden, Brazil, Italy and New Zealand Brittan, have also had large fish/bird deaths in the past week. But we will stay focused on the good ‘ol USA.

The aflockalypse? Well, the scientific community does not believe in the unconventional scare tactics and neither does Save Maumee.  However this should be a warning to all.  Mass deaths of animals have always happened.  Most of these deaths have happened to large populations and have been getting lots of attention –  but slower mass extinction of thousands of species because of human activity is going ignored.  Remember, population in nature takes care of itself, (i.e. natural selection & survival of the fittest) but this law of nature goes for the human race as well.

This all seems reminiscent of a book written by Rachel Carson called Silent Spring~ Please Read IT.  Aldrin, Dieldrin, Heptachlor and DDT or the overall term “chlorinated hydrocarbons” and a second group of insecticides, “organic phosphates” are among the most poisonous chemicals in the world. They wreaked havoc on the natural environment in the 40’s and 50’s.  As early as 1950 the FDA declared “it is “extremely likely the potential hazard of DDT has been underestimated”  By the way, ALL these chemicals were spread indiscriminately across the landscape of the USA for years before the disastrous effects were discovered.

What types of things do these chemical concoctions produce? mutagens, agents capable of modifying genes (the material for heredity) paralysis, internal bleeding, instantaneous death, widespread cancer…and many more side effects chemicals can travel in groundwater, surface water, up tubules of plants that we eat, reside on fruit and remains in soil.

Connect the dots together for yourself and take action lovely people of Earth.  I know that our planet is does not start with a capital letter, but from now it should be.

*duly noted, the numbers of fish and bird deaths are range estimates from different stories referenced, but the several locations are concerning.

HEC’s Environmental Policy for Waterways in 2011

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Hoosier Environmental Council 2011-2012 Legislative Policy Guide

According to the 2010 Impaired Waters List, Indiana has more than 2,600 impaired waters that are unsafe for drinking and recreation.

The following is a summary of information presented in the guide regarding water issues:

Issue 1) Restriction unnecessary use of phosphorus in lawn fertilizers on turf grass unless it is TRULY needed.  This is the first issue discussed because lawn fertilizer has been linked to “dead zones” in Lake Erie, where over 50% of our fish from the Great Lakes come from! (pg 4)

Issue 2) The Clean Water Act’s Anti-Degradation Policy was adopted by the Indiana General Assembly, but IDEM’s proposed rules do not meet this standard and must be improved.  Too many exemptions allow companies to avoid justifying their new or increased discharges.  There are several weaknesses in proposed rule so it needs to be strengthened. (pg 4)

Issue 3) Confined Feeding Animal Operations (CAFO’s) in Indiana number over 3,000.  At 80% of these operations; hogs and dairy cows are confined by the thousands or chickens are raised by tens of thousands at a single facility.   These large scale operations lead to public health disasters like fish kills, and Salmonella tainted eggs, blue-green algae blooms. The waste from these animals contain pathogens and medications that contaminate our waterways as well as food crops.  Traditionally, animal waste is used to fertilize crops but at this magnitude land application is dictated by the need to get rid of the waste rather than necessary fertilizer.  HEC believes that little is being done to effectively regulate the industry.
(pg 5)

Issue 4) Financial Assurance to Indiana Taxpayers. One example happened in 2009 – in Muncie, Indiana.  4-5 million gallons of manure was released and the State of Indiana paid the clean up cost associated with the defunct hog farm.  The primary purpose is to ensure that funds will be available to protect human health and the environment in the event that the facility owners of operators are unable or fail to do so. (pg 5)

Indiana Hog Farm:

SUSTAINABLE agriculture builds food and fiber production systems that are both economically viable and protect or enhance the environmental quality of the agricultural lands.  It also increases the quality of life for farmers and those people that live in the area surrounding the farms. (pg 5)

Keep IT OUT of Our Water

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Everyone should hug a farmer.  Thank them for the food we eat and marvel at their ability to use the land for such bounty.  American farmers are people that made our country great.  I obey laws because that is what people do who live in a  civilized society.  Do you remember how people in England discarded their waste before the black plague killed 1/3 of the population (25 million people)?

In the 14th century people would throw their chamber pots’ contents out of their window and into yards and streets.  The rats would then walk through the feces while seeking food and finally carry it back to the larger rat populations.  The flees that resided on the backs of rats were also exposed to the waste causing the plague.  This is ONE theory of a disease called Black Death and is still studied today as one of the most deadly pandemics in history. Keep poop out of our water, just like what was enacted into federal law in 1973 –  called the Clean Water Act.  So leave our small farm owners alone for a moment; but immediately impose current law on factory farms that contain animals on an industrial scale.
Sorry about the sick piggy picture…taken in Romania or Poland.           This diagram was a picture from Missouri

Why Factory Farms May Finally Be Held Responsible for Their Polluting Waste

By , Environment News Service
Posted on June 3, 2010, Printed on June 6, 2010

In a legal settlement that could affect the entire U.S. meat industry, the Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to identify and investigate thousands of factory farms that have been avoiding government regulation for water pollution with animal waste.

The settlement requires the agency to propose a rule on greater information gathering on factory farms within the next 12 months. It will require the approximately 20,000 domestic factory farms to report such information as how they dispose of manure and other animal waste.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Waterkeeper Alliance filed the suit in 2009 over a rule that exempted thousands of factory farms from taking steps to minimize water pollution from the animal waste they generate.

“Thousands of factory farm polluters threaten America’s water with animal waste, bacteria, viruses and parasites that can make people sick,” said Jon Devine, an attorney with the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Many of these massive facilities are flying completely under the radar. EPA doesn’t even know where they are,” said Devine.

More than 30 years ago, Congress identified factory farms as water pollution sources to be regulated under the Clean Water Act’s permit program.

But under a Bush administration regulation challenged by the environmental groups in this lawsuit, large facilities were able to escape government regulation by claiming, without government verification, that they do not discharge into waterways protected by the Clean Water Act.

Under the settlement reached May 26, the EPA will initiate a new national effort to track down factory farms operating without permits and determine if they must be regulated.

The specific information that EPA will require from individual facilities will be determined after a period of public comment. But the results of that investigation will enable the agency and the public to create stronger pollution controls in the future and make sure facilities are complying with current rules.

“The EPA’s rules have failed to protect our rivers and lakes from polluting factory farms,” said Ed Hopkins, director of Sierra Club’s Environmental Quality Program. “Gathering more information to document factory farms‘ pollution will lay the groundwork for better protection of our waters.”

The National Pork Producers Council expressed “deep frustration and anger” over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s continuing efforts “to develop costly agricultural regulations that provide few if any additional environmental benefits.”

“With this one-sided settlement, EPA yanked the rug out from under America’s livestock farmers,” said Michael Formica, NPPC’s chief environmental counsel. “NPPC is looking at all appropriate legal responses to EPA’s disappointing course of action.”

Factory farms, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, CAFOs, confine animals on an industrial scale and produce massive amounts of manure and other waste that can pollute waterways with dangerous contaminants.

These CAFOs apply liquid animal waste on land, which runs off into waterways, killing fish, spreading disease, and contaminating drinking water. The plaintiff groups cite EPA estimates that pathogens, such as E. coli, are responsible for 35 percent of the nation’s impaired river and stream miles, and factory farms are one of the most common pathogen sources.

“This agreement sets the stage for new Clean Water Act permitting measures that will add to producers’ costs, drive more farmers out of business, increase concentration in livestock production to comply and hurt rural economies,” said Randy Spronk, a Minnesota pork producer who heads NPPC’s environmental committee. “And the measures will do nothing really to improve water quality.

“Additionally,” said Spronk, “the settlement was negotiated in private and without consultation or input from the regulated farming community. This flies in the face of the Obama administration’s pledges to operate government more transparently. And, in this economy, the administration should be enacting measures that create jobs, not implementing regulations that put American farmers out of business.”

Today there are more than 67,000 pork operations compared with nearly three million in the 1950s. Farms have grown in size; 53 percent of them now produce 5,000 or more pigs per year.

“The record is clear — large CAFO operations, and many medium and small operations, commonly discharge pollutants into the surrounding environment,” said Waterkeeper Alliance attorney Hannah Connor. “What is also clear is that if we want to continue to drink, fish and enjoy water that is not contaminated with raw animal excrement, these discharges must be stopped.”

“We believe that the terms of this settlement will help reverse this industry’s history of bad behavior by improving implementation and enforcement of the law,” Connor said.

Litigation brought by these three groups has forced the EPA to revise its CAFO rules twice within the past decade to tighten the pollution control requirements on these facilities.

© 2010 Environment News Service All rights reserved.