Sunday, February 17, 2008

Arghh! Proposed Mega-Dairy threatens Illinois public health and water quality

We have a BIG problem trying to come into NW Illinois' Jo Daviess County.

Wealthy California business man, AJ Bos is trying to set up a 12,000 head mega-dairy near Nora, Illinois. There will be about 70 acres of manure lagoons. The stench will travel for miles. Folks down there are organizing because they are concerned about their drinking water.

They have created a website at: STOPTHEMEGADAIRY.ORG.

Here's what you can do to help the good people living in Nora:

The Jo Daviess County Board voted 11 to 5 to reject the proposed mega dairy. Unfortunately, the IL Dept. of Agriculture can ignore that vote, and place the facility against the wishes of the board and the constituents that they represent.

Please give me one minute right now and take two vitally important actions.

First, contact the Governor, and let him know that you don't want this facility in Illinois. You can call, write, or use his web portal to send him a message.

Governor Rod Blagojevich
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244 or 312-814-2121
TTY: 888-261-3336
Contact the Govenor

Your message should look and sound something like this:

Dear Governor Blagojevich,

The Jo Daviess County board voted 11 to 5 to deny an application for a 12,000 head CAFO proposed for their county. Siting numerous experts concern about major damage to the aquifer and surrounding rivers and streams, and the tremendous negative impact this facility would have on tourism, which is already bringing over $200,000,000 to the county, they rejected this application since it didn't fulfill the eight criteria imposed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Please use your authority as Governor to ensure that the Department of Agriculture follows their own guidelines and denies this application. The citizens of Jo Daviess County deserve the right to have their elected county board make decisions that will have such significant negative impact on their community. Thank you.

Okay now that you've got that done, please go to this Sierra Club web site and tell the federal EPA that huge factory farms should not be exempt from the clean air act. The Bushies would give them a legal loophole to avoid all of the pollution lawsuits being filed against them all over the country. This gift to corporate agriculture from the Bush administration would penalize small family farms, while allowing the largest and richest facilities to do as they pleased.

Alright, you've earned serious bonus point for the last two actions, but now you need to contact the head of the Department of Agriculture, and voice your objections to this facility. Every letter they get has to be reviewed by their board, and included in their files. They need to know that people are concerned about clean air, clean water, family farms, and public health, and won't stand for these factories in Illinois.

Charles A. Hartke, Director
State of Illinois Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 19281, State Fairgrounds
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
(217) 785-4789
FAX: 217.785.4505

You can read much more about this issue at Act now.


JustZFacts said...

Concerned citizens from Carrington, ND, much like the ones in Illinois, are trying to prevent a Mega-diary from moving in so close to their town. The owners, from Alberta, Canada (the site of 9 out of 12 BSE-positive dairy cows identified in Canada)have already brought their cows to South Dakota and are waiting to place them on our doorstep. Unbelievably, the state, the dairy commission, university experts, some local leaders, and money interests have all spoken up in favor of it. Their reason for supporting it...economic growth. Plus, according to them, there will be little if no odor from a 20-million gallon lagoon, little possibility of contaminating our groundwater and destroying our wetlands... Also, they particularly don't like the website that we put together called StinkFreeCarrington.Com which points out that the committee behind bringing the Mega-dairy to Carrington (the mayor, county commissioner, manager of Farm Credit, land owners, etc.)kept their dealings very quiet without telling the general public until things were "...signed on the dotted line." It's disappointing to realize that our state and certain local elected officials are willing to put the health and welfare of their citizens in jeopardy for potential economic growth which may never materialize.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it possible for people to unite in favor of treating animal confinements as "industries" and not "farms"? I think it is time the EPA stepped up and ruled that these types of factory farms should be regulated the same as any other industry with regards to the air quality standards and waste handling standards. Mega farms and confinements are treated as farms so their waste is not even considered hazardous. The manure is spread over the ground. However a confinement can produce more waste than a large city! The waste can and does run into nearby streams causing fish kills and pollution of the gound water. The air quality around the manure lagoons can cause all types of respiratory problems, and the ammonia released can damage ecosystems over a large area. There are many documented cases of this happening. It is time for these "farms" to be treated as industries and regulated as such!
Thanks, A Concerned Fish Biologist

Anonymous said...

SAME GUY IS A PARTNER IN FAIR OAKS DAIRY FARM IN JASPER COUNTY and newton county INDIANA WE ARE HAVING A BIG PROBLEM HERE ALSO STArted with 12000 now there is 38000 no rulesto stop them.they are getting pushed out of california and all are coming here they must be stoped