Letter to the Editor

Call lawmakers to demand clean water

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To the Editor and Taxpaying, Water Drinking Hoosiers:

Indiana's www.Cafowatch.org requests emails urging IDEM to prohibit transfer of a dairy ownership in Huntington County on June 4.

Unaddressed, environmental concerns such as body parts and manure storage problems are contaminating nearby Salamonie Reservoir since 2006. The owner was asked to leave the state.

The 2008 leaving agreement gave the dairy a new name, an heir, and the same problems.

This spring, the cows were removed.

The June 4 listed heirs, and Dairy LLC, have no assurance of funds for cleanup.

Taxpayers are paying for cleanups in lieu of sustainable reform.

Indiana State Department of Agriculture claims to support only "environmentally friendly livestock farms" with the "highest environmental standards" (ISDA 6/11/09 and, a different responder, 3/2/10 with same words).

Paradoxically, David Kirby reports that the only reason CAFOs make money is by violating laws intended to protect the environment! No wonder rural Hoosiers are "dispirited" (Animal Factory. St. Martin 's Press)!

Indiana's welcoming, since 2004, out-of-state CAFOs brought enormous economic and environmental problems that Hoosier officials refuse to acknowledge.

Our nationally acclaimed Methane Bubble Dairy (a 7.2-acre manure lagoon with improper lining since 2004), received 2008 IDEM approval for a 322-animal expansion, a decision still pending due to citizen protest! The owner is foreclosing with no assurance of funds for cleanup, leaving liability to the taxpayers (www.NUVO.net, "Foul Farms: Barbara Sha Cox leads the statewide fight against CAFOs" by Steven Higgs, 4/14-21/2010).

The Salamonie Reservoir in Huntington County is still contaminated!

I urge reputable confined animal feeding operators to join our voice. We deserve clean water!

Contact the Indiana Department of Environmental Management at bpalin@idem.in.gov, (cc mdaniels@gov.in.gov) and your senator or representative with a follow-up call to (800) 451-6027 requesting the transfer permit for Huntington County's ID6165 be denied until clean-up can be assured.

Rev. Marian Patience Harvey, BSN

Health Educator,

Terminal Midwife