Court denies opponents’ attempt to stop pig farm construction.

December 12, 2018

The construction site at Flower Creek Swine, LLC.
– Nov. 15, 2018 file photo.

Court denies opponents’ attempt to stop pig farm construction.

#OceanaCountyNews

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

CLAYBANKS TOWNSHIP – A Muskegon County judge ruled against a group’s attempt to stop the construction of a large-scale pig farm located southwest of Rothbury. Although, the opponents also have a petition pending at the state level.

Muskegon County Circuit Judge William Marietti denied an injunction by Reviving Our American Democracy (ROAD) to stop construction of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) owned by Flower Creek Swine, LLC, according to a press release issued by ROAD.

The CAFO, which would house up to 4,200 pigs, is being constructed near the Flower Creek watershed that flows into Lake Michigan. It is being built in a zoned agricultural area on West Flower Road off South 56th Avenue near the Claybanks United Methodist Church.

“It seems only common sense that the construction will soon lead to millions of gallons of pig waste having to be spread on land close to Lake Michigan,” the ROAD release states. “Filing for a preliminary injunction was just one move in our overall effort to stop the CAFO rather than it being a game-ending legal action.”

Despite major public opposition, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality last May approved the waste discharge permit for the farm, which is expected to produce about 1.5 million gallons of manure each year.

ROAD filed a petition last July with the state aimed at revoking the CAFO’s operating permit.

“The proposed CAFO will house a maximum of 4,200 gilt finisher swine, which will arrive at the facility weighing 15 pounds and leave after 120 days weighing 255 pounds,” states a legal brief filed in 14th Circuit Court.

Opponents have referred to the operation as a “pig factory.”

Residents fear that the waste will contaminate the Flower Creek watershed and say the pollution could destroy the state-designated cold-water trout fishery in the creek.

“FCS’s (Flower Creek Swine’s) proposed CAFO has faced overwhelming public opposition since the company’s member and registered agent, Jacob Marsh, applied for a permit in October of 2017,” states the legal brief.

ROAD released findings indicating that testing since July found higher E. coli, sediment and nutrients in the creek.

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.

Claybanks United Methodist Church

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