Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan (ECCSCM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organized to educate the public on the health risks and the environmental damage Confined Animal Feeding Operations have brought to our community and its watersheds. We developed this website to provide documentation on the pollution here and to promote Sustainable Alternatives (buy local food & pasture-based meat).

In recent years (1997-2012), 13 CAFOs – most of them dairies – were constructed or expanded from smaller operations in our area. Major expansions continue. Dairy CAFOs confine 700 or more cows, often several thousand cows, in warehouse-size steel barns, year-round. The liquid manure from CAFOs is a major pollutant of soils and waterways. Animal manure and and animal carcasses contain many pathogens (disease-causing organisms such as Cryptosporidium, E. coli bacteria, Listeria – see EPA's comprehensive list of pathogens and symptoms). These pathogens can threaten human health, other livestock, aquatic life, and wildlife.

As family farmers and neighbors, we are concerned about Lake Erie, our drinking water, and the massive risk of liquid manure systems, liquid manure on tile-drained fields. Liquid manure, like rain, can drain to field tiles, which drain to streams. All streams here flow to Lake Erie. Contaminated flow that reaches a stream is a discharge. Discharges that violate Michigan's water quality standards are illegal. 12 CAFOs in our area have discharged illegally or violated their CAFO Permits. Since 2000, there have been 4,680 violations and discharges in our area, many of them multiple-day violations (see violations list).

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ECCSCM meets monthly (except Sept) on the 3rd Wednesday, 6:30 pm, alternating between Hudson Community Center and Lenawee District Library
For dates and locations contact ECCSCM

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stench THE DATA

Western Lake Erie Basin - CAFO Manure Input for 2014
Total CAFO Animals (all species) in Western Lake Erie Watersheds = 10,780,450
Total CAFO Annual Manure (liquids and solids) in Western Lake Erie Watersheds = 4,940,084,855 lbs

See full data: total CAFO animals/manure by facility, based on numbers reported to Michigan DEQ and State of Ohio Livestock Permitting database. Notify ECCSCM if you find omissions or errors, we update the data periodically.

CAFO animals, waste totals* in our area (Bean Cr & River Raisin Watersheds of Michigan)
animals, mostly cows, producing each year
163,827,000 gals. of liquid waste and
143,000,000 lbs. of solid waste
Dairy cows produce more than 20 times the waste a human produces
Waste from CAFO cows here = waste from a city of 600,000 people = Boston

* when Milk Source reaches permitted capacity soon. Source for CAFO data: DEQ Annual CAFO Permits for these CAFOs:
Bakerlads Farms, Bleich Dairy, Bruinsma Dairy, Halliwill Farms, Hartland Farms, Hoffland Dairy, Milk Source/Camden Dairy, Milk Source/Hudson Dairy, Milk Source/Medina Dairy, New Flevo Dairy, State Line Farms, Terrehaven Farms, White Farms.

Research/Studies - national and local research on CAFO risks to water, air, public health; also ECCSCM hand-out with recent books/films

stench STENCH/EMISSION ALERTS - details/photos CAFO application, timeline documentation from neighbors

stench VIOLATIONS LIST - CAFO discharges and violations from 2000 to the present, with documentation from federal and state agencies

(For previous years, see News Archives with details and photos 2000-2015)

April - Who is enforcing what? DEQ misses deadline: Michigan's CAFO General Permit expired, as of midnight, April 1, with no new Permit issued. Revision of the Permit is required every 5 years. Public comment on the draft CAFO Permit ended in January.

April 15 - Lenawee Co Road Commission signs posted on Forrister Rd, marking road damage between New Flevo Dairy and Skinner Hwy.
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April 14 - More stench for neighbors, more liquid manure on wet ground, and more road damage at several locations as manure-tankers continue hauling. More photos/details on Stench Alerts.
4-14-15- Warner application at Gady Rd; waste not incorporated, streaming on the surface.
4-14-15 - Shepherd Rd damage west of Wisner. Warner manure tankers are taking Shepherd east to M-52 then south to Gady

April 13 - New Flevo Dairy CAFO draglining with at least 5 tankers hauling to Manitou Rd, with serious road damage on Forrister Rd (see photo).

April 9 - Rain last night and rain today, with serious runoff from New Flevo Dairy manure application fields along Hoddinott Rd.
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April 7 - Ohio DNR just now confirmed a manure spill in Paulding Co last month, after application to frozen and snow-covered ground and subsequent melt, with manure reaching Flat Rock Creek, a tributary of the Maumee River/Lake Erie.

April 1 - New aerial photos today show serious concerns for waste management at multiple facilities, including Bleich CAFO pumping manure across the production area (why?), lagoon-to-lagoon-to-tankers. Warner production area shows significant silage runoff. And at Terrehaven CAFO, same as the last 3 years, manure is over-topping the containment barrier at production area, and also over-topping containment at new barns at the back of property, near Black Cr., a tributary of Wolf Cr, a drinking water source for the City of Adrian. See also, at ground level, the surge of CAFO manure applications at several locations.
4-1-15 - Concern for manure management: Bleich pumping from south lagoon to north lagoon and into tanker, the hose (follow arrows) crossing the production area.
4-1-15- Close-up of Bleich south lagoon - urgent problem? requiring emptying?

4-1-15- Dark flow from silage heap at Warner Farms, same concern as in March 11 photo below on this page.

4-1-15 - Terrehaven production area, same as last year (see News Archive for April 2, 2014), and years before - manure overtops production area barrier and flows to a wetland and on to neighbor's property.
4-1-15 - back barns at Terrehaven, with manure over-topping barrier and flowing through a trench. Black Cr, a tributary of Wolf Cr, a drinking water source for the City of Adrian, is feet away.

March 25 - Ohio passes bill that bans manure on frozen ground - In response to the Lake Erie drinking water crisis, linked in large part to phosphorus flowing from agricultural fields and tiles, the Ohio legislature passed a bill, headed to Gov. Kasich for signing, which "prohibits farmers in northwest Ohio from spreading manure on frozen or saturated fields." Important first step in protecting public health. Now, what about some action in Michigan?

March 20 - Lake Erie Water Conference at Wildwood Metro Park, Toledo, OH, included several presentations on the risk to drinking water from livestock manure and tile-drainage flow, including the ECCSCM presentation on manure data here, and a detailed slideshow by Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manager of the Des Moines, Iowa, Water Works, which recently filed a Notice of Intent to Sue several Iowa drainage districts for excess nitrate in Des Moines' drinking water. The nitrates flowing through field tiles and into county drains cost taxpayers millions in additional water treatment costs. See Stowe's full presentation, "Providing Safe Drinking Water in Agricultural Watersheds." Two slides below from his presentation show the extent of sub-surface tile drainage in 2 sq miles in Iowa (same intensive tiling as here, where phosphorus is the concern); and in the Midwest, from Iowa to the western Lake Erie Watershed.
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March 11 - massive snow melt continues, with runoff from fields and livestock production areas – Warner Farms, Milk Source's Medina Dairy:
3-11-15 - extensive pooling of runoff at Warner silage heap, with possible slippage on south side, along Elton Hwy (River Raisin Watershed).

3-11-15 - Durfee Cr Extension (on Michigan's list of impaired waters) is foamy, clotted, gray. This stream originates on and drains only Milk Source's Medina Dairy, Dillon Hwy (Bean/Tiffin Watershed).

March 10 - Bulletin: Massive manure runoff from VDS CAFO field in Kalamazoo County (see video of pumping operation; DEQ comments). "...'With the warmup on Sunday [March 8], that snow started to run off the field along with the manure,' said Bruce Washburn, an environmental quality analyst for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. A stream of feces formed, flowing over 42nd Street into ditches and neighboring properties. The DEQ said it’s already working to contain it."
NOTE: Just four days before the CAFO mess in Kalamazoo Co, Director of DEQ, Dan Wyant in a Farm Bureau interview, touted the influx of CAFOs in Michigan: "we're very proud of our CAFO program... we seem to be in this really sweet spot...we have a successful CAFO program...we don't have issues in Michigan."
Well, Mr. Wyant, look around the state today. Look at the photos below from our area, where major thaw has also begun, temps in the 40s and 50s this week. Runoff from manure application fields is pooling in fields, many with tile inlets draining to streams. March is the month the "surge" of dissolved phosphorus begins to flow from fields to tiles to streams, to Lake Erie, feeding toxic algae through the summer. See more photos and details here.
3-10-15 - Black Cr on Wolf Creek Hwy, downstream from Terrehaven CAFO manure application field and drainage area of back-of-field barns.

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3-10-15 - Pooled runoff east of Terrehaven CAFO production area, draining into residential area and catch basin to Baker Tile.

New violations: Terrehaven CAFO, Adrian (River Raisin/Lake Erie Watershed) – 10 years of noncompliance 2005-2015, with production area lacking waste containment; periodic runoff and discharges; compliance schedules not met; manure lagoons not evaluated to see if they meet standards, and other violations. Production area runoff was first noted in Feb 2005. As of Jan 2015, Terrehaven was still out of compliance with a DEQ Violation Notice from Nov 8, 2013 ordering containment of all CAFO production area waste. On Jan 29, 2015, DEQ asked Terrehaven to submit yet another "timetable" for construction of the CAFO waste collection system by May 1, 2015... "To ensure that this issue is addressed in a timely manner." Terrehaven is also still out of compliance with evaluation of waste storage structures and is required, yet again, to submit "a schedule" for the evaluation of the north storage lagoons by March 1, 2015, to bring them up to standards by Aug 1, 2015.
For more details, and DEQ letters since 2005, newly-available, documenting the decade of Terrehaven production area violations, repeated and un-met Schedules of Compliance over 7 years, and a discharge of liquid manure in March 2010 "over the driveway and into the back barnyard. Ice and snow dammed up the manure until it flowed over the top..." see Violations list.

Feb 23 - ON FROZEN AND SNOW-COVERED GROUND - multiple manure applications by Hartland Farms CAFO, Bleich CAFO (2 locations), and Warner Farms (details, photos on Stench Alerts). Of serious concern, with severe cold for two weeks and small tributaries frozen, 2 drains downstream from New Flevo Dairy CAFO and Marowelli Farms are flowing, with unnatural color and foam:

2-23-15 - drain at New Flevo Dairy CAFO, flowing to Wallace Dr, a tributary of Hazen Cr.

2-23-15 - Seeley Dr at Forrister Rd, just east of Townley, downstream from Marowelli Farms. Seeley Dr flows to Posey Lake.

Feb 3 - Feb 3 - ON FROZEN AND SNOW-COVERED GROUND - Bakerlads CAFO manure application, again. Details on Stench Alerts.

Jan 28, 2015 - 10 points, to protect our waters - Comments to DEQ on draft CAFO General Permit. ECCSCM, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, and Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, jointly submitted extensive comments to DEQ yesterday on the draft CAFO Permit. These Comments were supported by national and regional groups signing on, including The Ecology Center, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Center for Food Safety and others. The Comments focus on 10 important changes for the 2015 CAFO Permit to protect our watersheds, our health, and our Great Lakes. A few points are:
1 - Ban CAFO waste application on frozen ground and snow-covered ground to eliminate risk of discharges in these conditions.
2 - Require the same permit coverage for large and medium CAFOs, and the same requirements for manifested waste as for CAFO waste.
3-10 - strengthening soil testing, strengthening surface and groundwater monitoring, public participation on all significant facility changes, and more.
See full ECCSCM, SC, SRAP Comments. See also Legislators' letter to DEQ supporting these changes.

Jan 27 - ON FROZEN AND SNOW-COVERED GROUND - More CAFO waste applications by Bakerlads and Hartland Farms, along Cadmus Rd west of Morey

Jan 20 - See details of a multi-year discharge from 14 yrs ago, Jan 2001, just added to Violations list - FOIAed DEQ documents were first seen this week, Jan 2015. Bleich CAFO, Hudson, was cited for a discharge of contaminated stormwater to a tributary of St. Joseph Cr. In a DEQ letter to Bleich CAFO dated Oct 8, 2004 - more than 3 years later! - DEQ reported contaminated stormwater was still draining and discharging to waters of the state.

Jan 16 - See Media Alert from Michigan Chapter Sierra Club, ECCSCM, and Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, on how and when to provide your comments to DEQ on the 2015 CAFO General Permit. Help protect Lake Erie and all of Michigan's watersheds. Ask DEQ to prohibit CAFO waste application on frozen or snow-covered ground at any time, and between Dec 15 and Mar 15, no matter the soil conditions.

Jan 15 - Big news on two fronts today:
Groups win landmark victory against 4 CAFOs in Oregon. The Center for Food Safety and Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) won summary judgment from the U.S. District Court of Eastern Washington, confirming that "the manure management practices of these industrial dairies may contribute to drinking water contamination, are insufficient to protect public health and the environment, and that these industrial dairies should be held responsible." More details and links here.
2) Chipotle, a corporation with a great history of support for sustainable farming practices, pulled pork from many of its menus yesterday, Jan 14, "after the company discovered that an unnamed supplier had violated its animal welfare policies." The pressure is on animal producers to be safe and humane. See more details here.

Also Jan 15 - ON FROZEN AND SNOW-COVERED GROUND - 2 CAFOs spreading manure: Hartland Farms and Bakerlads, both in Hudson Twp.

Jan 13 - ON FROZEN AND SNOW-COVERED GROUND - Bakerlads CAFO spreading solids just north of the South Branch of the River Raisin, on east side of Morey Hwy, north of Beecher Rd.

Jan 12 - Iowa's largest city sues over farm pollution in rivers - "Des Moines, Iowa, is confronting the farms that surround it over pollution in two rivers that supply the city with drinking water. Des Moines Water Works says it will sue three neighboring counties for high nitrate levels in the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. It's a novel attempt to control fertilizer runoff from farms, which has been largely unregulated..." An idea for Toledo?

Jan 2 - ON FROZEN GROUND - Voluntary compliance? (NOPE) with DEQ's request to CAFOs to stop manure application on frozen or snow-covered ground in Lake Erie Watershed. Two CAFOs here are applying both liquid and solid manures today, on ground frozen solid. New Flevo/Waterland Dairy CAFO is hauling to at least 3 locations: spraying liquid manure just west of the village of Onsted, on a field not included in their CNMP; also spraying liquid manure on Shepherd Rd, east of Pentecost Hwy in Adrian Twp.; and also spreading solids on Forrister Rd, 1/2 mi. east of Wilkinson, with no setback from a tile riser. Elsewhere, north of Hudson, Bleich CAFO is also applying manure on frozen ground. (See Stench Alerts for more details and photos).
1-2-15 - New Flevo/Waterland spraying CAFO waste on frozen ground, a field at Slee and Brooks Rd not in their CNMP, just west of Onsted.

1-2-15 - New Flevo/Waterland waste on Forrister Rd east of Wilkinson, with no setback from tile riser.

FIND THE CAFOS IN YOUR AREA – Click on this Food & Water Watch map
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call 24-hr PEAS (Pollution Emergency) Hotline: 1-800-292-4706
also, for
Air Pollution
(stench, strong odors)
call MDA Right to Farm: 1-877-632-1783
DEQ Air Division, Jackson Dist: 517-780-7481

and for
Water Pollution (runoff from fields, discolored stream, water with odor)
call DEQ Water Division, Jackson Dist: 517-780-7847
or contact ECCSCM – use this form or this email:
and we will report the pollution

 ECCSCM, P.O.Box 254, Hudson, MI 49247
To become a member of ECCSCM
click here