DEQ OKs pig operation amid public fuming.

May 11, 2018

DEQ OKs pig operation amid public fuming.

#FlowerCreekSwine

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

CLAYBANKS TOWNSHIP — A controversial swine operation to be constructed on Flower Road near 56th Avenue in southern Oceana County got the thumb’s up from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Thursday, May 10, by issuing a permit that takes effect June 1.

Operating as Flower Creek Swine LLC, the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) will house 4,000 swine.

“Based on site specific information and additional information obtained during the public notice and comment period, a decision was made to issue an individual permit to the facility,” writes Pam Studebaker, secretary for the DEQ Water Resources Division, in an emailed statement.

“On April 23, 2018, the Department received notification that a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) was created for Flower Creek Swine, LLC as the applicant. A legal agreement exists for the Flower Creek Swine, LLC to operate a CAFO facility on land owned by Jacob Marsh. All other aspects of the application were unchanged,” Studebaker writes.

“The Individual Permit to Flower Creek Swine, LLC was issued on May 10, 2018 and is effective on June 1, 2018. The individual permit was issued with specific requirements regarding manifesting, including requirements to report manifesting information to the department and submit the information into the MiWaters Database system.”

To read the individual permit, manifest form, and summary of comments and responses received during the public comment period and the Jan. 10 public hearing, click here.

Emotions ran high at the Montague High School auditorium during the public hearing regarding the large-scale swine farm. Approximately 200 people attended, insisting that the operation poses potential environmental hazards.

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The CAFO, located in a zoned agricultural area, will house 4,000 swine per cycle. It has area residents fuming, said a facility official

The Jan. 10 public hearing in the Montague High School auditorium.

David Marsh earlier assured OCP the operation will not cause any environmental harm.

Because the property is in close proximity to Flower Creek and in the Flower Creek watershed, residents fear the manure could create devastating environmental impacts by polluting the water. Flower Creek, which has e-Coli issues, flows into Lake Michigan. The farm is located just two miles from Lake Michigan.

Located across the road from the Claybanks United Methodist Church, church members spoke out against the project.

Environmental experts, including attorneys and an analyst, cited opposition to the project.

Several residents who voiced their opposition to the project said they support farmers, but not animal “factories.”

“We don’t begrudge anyone’s right to earn a living and raise a family.”

“This is the equivalent of putting an outhouse in Michigan’s front yard,” one resident said. “CAFOs repel people.”

“CAFOs are Michigan’s dirty little secret.”

related story here

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

 

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