Wednesday, January 05, 2011

"Welcome to the Water Wars"

In today's Joplin Globe (January 5, 2010), is a Letter to the Editor that pretty much defines the Environmental Battlefields in Missouri today. Thank you Kaye Smith for so eloquently bringing MDNR Director-Nominee, Sara Pauley, up-to-speed...

[Editor’s note: The following was written as an open letter to Sara Pauley, a nominee for director of the Department of Natural Resources.]

Congratulations on your nomination, and welcome to the water wars.

The story (Globe, Dec. 26) in The Joplin Globe was encouraging as to your experience and credentials. Also reassuring was the obvious fact that you would come into your new position neither inept nor invisible.

Hunters and fishermen were surely reassured to learn both you and your husband share a history and proclivity toward those enterprises. You obviously recognize their concerns and interests.

Less reassuring to some readers were your terse comments about the regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Missouri, their proximity to state parks and historic sites, and their potential harm to the environment: “The department is limited in what it can do. We have existing tools and that’s all we have. If the public wants to see additional tools, it’s the public that must speak.” (Stating the problem required more words that your laconic response).

First, “the public” has been speaking for several years. People and groups all over Missouri have been speaking out, voicing their concerns. Roaring River Parks Alliance, Friends of Arrow Rock, Barton County Richland Township, etc. have spoken out, held public meetings, written letters, printed flyers, attended Lobby Day at the Capitol, appeared before commissions, and gone to court. The problem does not lie with speaking, rather it lies with getting anyone to listen.

When the people get to speak with their votes, they do the right thing, i.e. last fall’s Prop. B. Despite a media frenzy in opposition, “the people” said puppy mills were a bad thing. Now we read some lawmakers want to repeal this proposition. Why? So much for “the people” speaking.

Addressing “lack of tools,” DNR wants regulations covering where and how many CAFOs can be built and where and how to dispose of the manure produced by millions of confined chickens, turkeys and hogs — which currently can be dumped anywhere. New rules must come from our legislators, and the only voices they hear are those of the wealthy, influential interests that finance CAFOs.

Ever wonder why state lawmakers failed to renew water permit requirements that generate a quarter of the revenue for DNR’s water quality enforcement program?

The only cover DNR should need is found in its mission statement. DNR’s entire reason for existing is “to protect, preserve, and defend Missouri’s natural resources, state parks and historic sites.” Any other consideration should be secondary and unneeded.

My apologies for the tone of this reaction to the Globe article, but your reply to the discussion of CAFOs seemed dismissive of the concerns of many people. You must be thinking, “I’m not even there yet and already being criticized.” I reiterate ... welcome to the water wars.

Kaye Smith is a member of Roaring River Parks Alliance. She lives in Pierce City

Friday, December 31, 2010

MOARK Plans 2.2 Million Chicken Expansion

The Joplin Globe, November 14, 2010, reported that MOARK neighbors learned of '(MOARK's) plans to expand their current egg-laying operations by 2.2 million chickens' in a neighbor notification letter, dated October 25, 2010. 'Some of the Newton County residents who led the fight to block a MOARK expansion several years ago (including Richard Benz) say they see no point now in fighting the company’s latest plans. Nor will they try to stop MOARK from getting new state construction and operating permits. One leader of the campaign in 2005 thought it was a “foregone conclusion” that the state will grant MOARK's latest permit requests.'

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Irony of this Environmental Disaster

Saturday's Joplin Globe carried a poignant OPED 'In Our View' piece, DNR Fouls Own Nest. It chronicled DNR's history of being dismissive to the threat of E. coli, and "even treated as lepers some of those water quality volunteers who warned that Missouri rivers and streams overflowed with fecal bacteria". Fast forward a few years and "By our count, the DNR has 50 state parks, and this summer it had to close swim beaches at a dozen of them, or about 25 percent." The Joplin Globe summarizes the current situation, "E.coli is doing very real damage to Missouri. The irony of this environmental disaster isn't lost on the state's residents, who note that the same agency responsible for water quality fouled its own parks as a result of lax enforcement and outright indifference." Joplin Globe, August 21, 2010

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Will Chris Koster Appeal CAFO Ruling?

The Joplin Globe describes it as "CAFO issue at Crossroad". You may remember Circuit Judge Joyce's Ruling that NO CAFOs can be constructed within 2 miles of state parks and hsitoric sites. You may remember that former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's administration filed an appeal of Judge Joyce's ruling. The Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals has scheduled a hearing, October 28, 2009. Missouri's new Attorney's General, Chris Koster, will have to decide whether to puruse the appeal, filed by his predessesor, or let Judge Joyce's ruling stand. The article states that agricultural interests like Missouru Farm Bureau and the Missouri Agribusiness Association want the appeal heard. Environmental groups like The Sierra Club, the Roaring river Parks Alliance, the Friends of Arrow Rock and the Missouri Parks Association want the State of Missouri to drop the appeal. The Joplin Globe, September 27, 2009

Previous posts on Judge Joyce's ruling: Update on Judge Joyce Ruling, Appeal Hearing, CAFOs vs Judge Joyce .

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gov. Jay Nixon Suspends Department of Natural Resources Director

The Columbia Tribune reported today that Gov. Jay Nixon suspended Department of Natural Resources Director, Mark Templeton, for two weeks without pay after he provided false information to the governor. Nixon added later, "I'm angrier than words can describe."

Nixon's action came two days after he incorrectly told reporters that state beaches at the Lake of the Ozarks had been closed from May 18 to June 11 because of high pollution levels. The beaches, however, had not been closed. And on Wednesday, Nixon said his Department of Natural Resources director Mark Templeton had given him the false information about the closings.

More links on Lake of the Ozarks E. coli sampling results:
E.coli report reached governor's staff Springfield News Leader, 10/01/2009

Transcript of what Gov. Nixon said about DNR failure to close beaches Springfield News Leader, 09/30/2009

Fact-checking Nixon's claims about beach closings at Lake of the Ozarks Springfield News Leader, 09/29/2009

Governor: Report on E.coli not passed on Springfield News Leader, 09/29/2009

Transition at DNR slowed E. coli results Springfield News Leader, 09/28/2009

Ex-official: E. coli results known Springfield News Leader, 09/25/2009

DPS attorney requested, got surveillance tapes Springfield News Leader, 09/25/2009

Nixon aide knew about E. coli results in May, ex-DNR employee says Springfield News Leader, 09/24/2009

Plan targets polluters at Lake of the Ozarks Springfield News Leader, 09/24/2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Update on Judge Patricia Joyce Ruling

According to Columbia Daily Tribune, Attorney General Chris Koster says the administration of Gov. Jay Nixon prefers to drop the appeal of a judge’s decision prohibiting the location of concentrated animal feeding operations near state parks and historic sites.

Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ruled last year that a 4,800-head hog farm could not be located within two miles of the historic village of Arrow Rock. The ruling came in response to a suit filed by the Missouri Parks Association against the Department of Natural Resources, which had issued a permit for the operation. Although the permit expired and the large hog farm was not built, the administration of Gov. Matt Blunt appealed the decision to an appeals court in Kansas City. Environmental groups have asked the Nixon administration to drop it.

In our view: Residents, judge perform DNR’s duty The Joplin Globe 08/26/2008

DNR says judicial ruling stops CAFO construction in Missouri w/ Cole County Circuit Court ruling The Joplin Globe, 08/26/2008

Challenge expected soon to Missouri CAFO ruling The Joplin Globe, 09/23/2008

Sunday, July 26, 2009

DNR chose "impact on tourism " over Health and Safety in May

The Kansas City Star reported, Thursday, July 16, 2009, Missouri agency withheld report of E. coli reaching unsafe levels in Lake of the Ozarks. State officials sat for four weeks on a report that showed E. coli was above safe levels in the Lake of the Ozarks around Memorial Day. A national clean-water expert and author said the report should have been released about May 28 when the danger was imminent, not June 26, when it was finally released with lower June samples. The state standard for E. coli is 126 colonies per 100 milliliters of water. More than half of the 60 samples taken May 26 exceeded that standard, state records show. At least two samples were 19 times above the standard.

Many Missouri lakes are not monitored for E. coli. But Lake of the Ozarks is in an unusual situation. As the result of a lawsuit, Ameren Corp. agreed in 2007 to provide $15,000 a year for five years to monitor for E. coli as part of a state settlement over a dam failure. The Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance, manned by volunteers with oversight by DNR employees, collects samples six times a year during the swimming season. For the last two years, the DNR has released the monitoring report promptly, as soon as a laboratory has analyzed the samples. The alliance puts the report on its Web site and includes a color map of where the samples were taken. But in May, after the samples were collected and the laboratory analyzed them, the DNR did not release the report.

The Joplin Globe Editorial, Friday, July 17, 2009 said it all, Deceiving the Public. What happened to the greater good of the people? We don’t think posting no swimming signs for a few weeks would have created a panic. The warnings should have explained that heavy rains in May washed hazardous bacteria into the lake. Donna Swall, director of a group that did sampling on May 26, begged state officials to release the report, according to the Star. Instead, the DNR traded public trust for tourism dollars. Withholding this type of information is wrong, plain and simple, and the public has a right to demand accountability from the DNR. The state agency, at the very least, violated the state’s open-records law when it refused to divulge the report to the public. The mission of the DNR is to protect our water quality, not cover up its contamination.

July 23, 2009, The Kansas City Star reported "Senate committee to probe delayed E. coli report". Sen. Brad Lager, a Savannah Republican and chairman of the Senate standing committee on environment, said Thursday he will begin a thorough review of why the Missouri Department of Natural Resources did not release the report for more than a month. Top DNR officials told The Star they withheld the report because of concerns over the impact on tourism and over creating a public panic.

Attorney General Chris Koster has announced he will investigate whether DNR violated the Missouri Sunshine Law when it did not release the report. The stories have created a public outcry. The National Sierra Club Water Sentinels Program this week called for DNR Director Mark Templeton to be fired and reprimands of two other DNR employees. “DNR stands for Do Not Release,” said Scott Dye, national program director.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cedar County MO couple wins $1.1 million in Nuisance Suit

The Joplin Globe reports in today's paper that Ed and Ruth McEowen (plaintiffs) settled with Missouri Farmers Association (MFA), Missouri Farm Bureau, North View Swine Co., Tri County Swine and Douglas and Edith Mullings for $1.1 Million. The McEowens live in Jeroco Springs (Cedar County), MO. and had filed a nuisance suit against the defendants. The article quotes McEowen's attorney, Charlie Speer, "This is basically an atomic bomb when it comes to this type of case. There are over 400 nuisance cases like this one pending in Missouri, including 50 in Southwest Missouri. This $1.1 Million settlement sets the bar for future settlements." The settlement prevents the hog farm from any future odor releases that might negatively impact the McEowens.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Citizens for Environmental Safety, Purcell, (Jasper Co.) MO

The Carthage Press, Friday, Februuary 27, 2009, reported that Republic Financial Corporation-Denver, has abandoned plans to build a landfill in Purcell (Jasper Co.) Missouri. The 640 acre site is/was at the corner of Country Road 210 and Baseline. "The company announced on Feb. 14 that it planned to sell the land and attach a covenant to the deed that it could never be used as a landfill." Citizens for Environmental Saftey (CES) "said it opposed the landfill because the land was the headwaters to Slater Branch, a creek that ran directly into the North Fork of the Spring River, then into the Spring River itself. They feared pollution from the landfill could spread into Spring River."

The CES Committee plans to "donate the information, maps and testing it had conducted and gathered to the library at Missouri Southern State University where it could be archived, protected and available for public use." Thank you and congratulations to the CES Committee, including Joe Hagen, Charimonde Hagen and Mark Russell.

Previous Environmental Battlefields of Missouri posts regarding the Purcell Landfill:
SW Regional Landfill (Google Earth) view
Who's Who on the Purcell Landfill Batlefield
Who is Running SW Regional Landfill
Public Information Session Purcell Landfill
Today's Headlines Purcell Landfill
When is a Landfill a Junkyard?
Clarification of Landfill
Can You See Though a Landfill?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Roaring River Parks Alliance vs. Ozbun CAFO - Appeal Hearing

The Joplin Globe, (01/05/2009) reports on an appeal hearing, scheduled in the case of Roaring River Parks Alliance vs. Michele and Rodney Ozbun CAFO, for 9:00am, Thursday, January 8, 2008, Room 540, Truman Building, Jefferson City, MO. The article reports that the Ozbuns will be represented by Michael Schmid, and associate in the firm of Schreimann, Rackers Francka and Blunt, Jefferson City, MO. The Roaring River Parks Alliance will be represented by John Price, law firm of Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown, Springfield, MO.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

CAFO Rules

The Joplin Globe (12/07/08) reported in today's paper that new Missouri State Representative Tom Flanigan Carthage, MO (District 127), is quoted as saying he will sponsor legislation aimed at tougher state response to odor problems. Rep Flannigan was quoted in The Carthage Press (12/01/08), "the one piece of legislation I want to introduce is the reintroduction of Senate Bill 738, the original bill. It deals with companies that take animal parts and turn them into petroleum products and odor violations". The Jopin Globe article, Revision Call For No Change reports on the Missouri Air Conservation Commission's decision not to change the rules regarding odor volations in Missouri.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Lawsuit vs. Synergy LLC, KENOMA LLC, MOWAK LLC, etal

Thirty-five Barton County (MO) residents have filed suit in the Circuit Court of Barton Co., MO. against SYNERGY LLC, KENOMA LLC, Paul Stefan, Wayne Nichols, Francis Forst, T.J. Onstott, MOWAK, LLC and William Steffan. The defendants are Barton Co. CAFO owners and/or operators. The suit alleges that "The odor and toxic gases, including but not limited to hydrogen sulfide, methane, and ammonia, cause and contribute to the offensive odors that have disrupted and interfered with Plaintiff's use and quiet enjoyment of their lives, homes, and/or property."
The Joplin Globe reported today, in an article Residents File Nuisance Lawsuit Against CAFO, the background for the suit, as well as link to a copy of the Lawsuit.

Synergy, LLC
Kenoma, LLC
Paul Stefan, Golden City, MO.
Wayne Nichols, Golden City, MO.
Francis Forst, Lamar, MO.
T.J. Onstott, Lamar, MO.
Mowak, LLC.
William Stefan, Lockwood, MO.
Robert Rice, Lamar, MO.
Ed Onstott, Lamar, MO.
Marcel Fischbacher, Lamar, MO.
John Bauer, Lamar, MO.
Janis Bauer, Lamar, MO.
Clint Ash, Lamar, MO.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Everyone Lives Downstream"

The Joplin Globe reported, Friday, November 14, 2008, that Tyler Swezey and Anthony Monteleone (students at Pittsburg State University) earned a first-place award from Collegiate Broadcasters Inc. for their documentary film on CAFOs. The film, "Everyone Lives Downstream" explores the concerns of some anglers and neighbors of the Cassville, MO state park who have filed a legal challenge against concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) located just a mile from the Roaring River State Park entrance. The Michelle & Rodney Ozbun CAFO houses about 65,000 chickens.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Another Barry County CAFO (Missouri)

The Joplin Globe reports Neighbors voicing opposition to proximity of planned 30,000-chicken house (Friday, October 31, 2008) on a new environmental "battlefield' in Wheaton (Barry Co., MO) regarding a 30,000 broiler chicken CAFO, being built by Wesley & Cheri Church. At issue, is the proximity of the proposed chicken CAFO to their neighbors. The newspaper article identified the affected neighbors as Lowell & Twyla McInturff, Charles & Shirley Tichenor, Doug & Deanna Hughes, and Joseph & Tempest Cooper.

Here is a Google Earth image of the area immediately north of Wheaton, MO. [click on image to get close-up view] Obviously there are other poultry houses in the area. What is at issue, is best described in this excerpt from the article, the Church's "poultry house will be 191 yards north of the Tichenor house, 162 yards from a house on the west side, 254 yards south of the McInturff house and 296 yards southwest of the Cooper house".

Once again, it is the owner's attitude that characterizes the situation,'They (Wesley & Cheri Church) noted they purchased their property without restrictions in an area that is agricultural.' It is like they are saying that it is my land and I'll do with it what I want. This is the reoccurring theme in every environmental battleground. I don't think that this attitude falls under the "good neighbor" model for sustainable agriculture.

Of interest in this article is the reference to First Financial Bank, Fayetteville, AR. as being the lender for the project. What does this say about their adherence to "good neighbor" lending practices for sustainable agriculture? The article also reports that Cheri & Wesley Church have signed on to become Simmons contract growers. Simmons agreed to the project, though the company’s Web site says it will not construct a chicken house within 1,200 feet of an existing chicken house. An exception apparently was made for the Churches: the Tichenor chicken houses are approximately 960 feet east of the location of the new chicken house. Kimmy Provost, spokeswoman for Simmons, said, “The 1,200 feet is a recommendation. It is up to the individual contract grower to abide by the laws of the state they are operating in." The article states that 'in Missouri, a poultry house cannot be constructed within 100 feet of a home or a private well, according to state regulations'.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CAFO Meeting Lamar (Barton Co.) MO. Part 2

The CAFO informational meeting was held in Lamar (Barton Co.) MO on October 14, 2008. In addition to John Ikerd, PhD, other groups that spoke or made presentations, included: Darvin Bentlage, a rural Richland Township-Barton Co. farmer; Jim Riedel and Mark Stevenson, Roaring River Parks Alliance; Kathleen Smith, Missouri Coalition for Environment and Rhonda Perry, Missouri Rural Crisis Center.

Some of the information that was disseminated in Lamar, warrants further discussion and research. Here are refences to some of the information.

1. In Barton Co. MO, Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)reported that in 2002, there were 45,618 cow/calves and 150,000 hogs. In Dade Co. there were 6,500 cow/calves and 45,000 hogs. In Jasper Co. MO there were 61,531 cow/calves and 17,000 hogs.
2. The Northfork of Spring River was ranked 2nd worst in the state for agricultural non-point pollution.
3. New legislation, called EQIP was passed in November 2007. It was designed to provide subsidies: 1/3 to crop farmers, 1/3 to grazing operations, and 1/3 to animal feeding operations. Instead 40% of EQIP went to CAFOs. Put another way, 2% of farmers got 40% of the funding.
4. Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is NOT pro-active, but reactive.
5. Algae uses up Oxygen that fish need
6. 265 CAFOs in Barry Co. MO.
7. We all loose in an adversarial model of protecting Missouri's natural resources.
8. CAFO > 65,000, 100' setback from stream or well -and- 1,000' setback from residence. However, CAFO < 65,000, no permit reqquired or setback regulations.
9. Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission
10. Clean Water Act 40 CFR Part 131

11. Class 1A hogs CAFO >17,500; 1B 7,500-17,499; 1C 2500-7,499 and Class II hog operation 750-2499.
12. NPDES National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit (DNR537 CAFO)
13. There are 150,000 unclassified streams. There are 25,000 classified streams. 82% of discharge permits are on unclassified streams. Only narrative criteria apply to unclassified streams.
14. TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load)
15. BMP (Best Management Practices)
16. UAA (Use Attainability Analysis)
17. Anti degradation and sustainability
18. Good land stewardship. Good neighbors. Good practices.
19. "Remember, we all live downstream and upstream."
20. Family farm vs. Industrial operations (CAFO)

21. It matters who is raising livestock. 1.5 to 3 jobs lost in corporate agriculture.
22. In Missouri the number of hog farmers has decreased from 19,000 to 2,000. The # of hogs have remained constant: 2,800,000. However the pork price has gone up 64% and the profit has decreased 40%.
23. CAFO's are a vertical integration model; they control the marketplace; and they depend on subsidies.
24. EQIP included a $50,000 cap for cost sharing. Nationally, $35 million went to industrial livestock operations. In Missouri, NRCS paid CAFO operators $5 million to move their litter waste somewhere else.
25. Current state standards are not sufficient.
26. 4,000 hogs produce as much waste as a human population of 16,000.
27. The last 4-6 years, the Missouri legislature (supported by Missouri Farm Bureau) has treid to take away local control of CAFOs.
28. EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) is only regulating CAFOs that are not self contained.
29. EQIP, was intended for real conservation practices, NOT moving liter.
30. Need to address accumulative impact of CAFOs.
31. Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia

CAFO Meeting Lamar (Barton Co.) MO. Part 1

The Joplin Globe (10/16/2008) reported, "CAFO Foes Rally Forces". Speakers were critical of what they said is the inability of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to protect the state’s natural resources from the manure associated with factory farms. They said the DNR, which is charged with permitting and regulating the state’s largest CAFOs, is much too cozy with corporate agriculture. They said the department should be doing more to prevent pollution through aggressive enforcement instead of responding to it at taxpayer expense after the damage already has taken place.

Mike Holzknecht, a resident of the Stockton area, said he attended the meeting to hear what people were saying about CAFOs. “What impressed me was that the group who came to Lamar was from all over Missouri,” he said. “They came in defense of our family farms, homes and our rural way of life. These are true American patriots. “I hope all of our neighbors out here in the country will listen to these courageous family farmers before it is too late, and they lose everything they’ve worked for their entire lives — the value of their home and their family’s freedom to enjoy it.”

The Joplin Globe article did not mention, Dr. John Ikerd's presentation. His was the most emotional, thoughtful, and inspirational of all. Some of his comments included: Rural America is being polluted and plundered. Truth with conviction. Know why you believe what you believe. It is important that rural Missouri residents reclaim their rights to self control. He said that CAFO economic promises are empty and that CAFOs are not a social or economic contributor. He challenged the group to look at academic and scientific studies. CAFOs are a broad issue with many dimensions. The science is conclusive. CAFOs are a violation of rural ethic.

He pointed out that rural America is being offered: prisons, landfills, toxic waste incinerators and CAFOs. Some feel that the "highest and best" use of rural land is a dump for other peoples waste. He stressed that CAFOs are NOT the future of American agriculture. Instead, CAFOs could be the end of American agriculture. Dr. Ikerd said that there is a correlation between CAFOs and human health risks. He said that we must support the traditional Family Farm. It is ecological and economical. We have got to pursue sustainable agriculture. He pointed out that organic food was growing at a rate of 20% annually.

He emphasized that CAFOs are degrading our most valuable asset. We must step up to regain "self determination" and "self control". There is no future in prisons, landfills and CAFOs. We deserve something better. Begin rebuilding. Reclaim our grass roots control. Shape our own destination. John Ikerd, PhD

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Russell & Steve Renner, McDonald Co. MO CAFO

Russell Renner and his son, Steve Renner have filed for Construction Permits to build a 234,000 chicken CAFO operation in McDonald Co, Missouri. According to an article in The Joplin Globe, September 14, 2008, excavation for the poultry barns started "about a week ago". The issue is whether or not construction of the CAFOs violate Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce's ruling, prohibiting construction of any CAFO within a 15 mile buffer of Missouri State Parks and Historic sites. In this case, the Big Sugar Creek State Park is within the 15 mile barrier of both Russell Renner and Steve Renner's CAFO projects. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is quoted as saying that "the department had not issued a construction permit for the Renner chicken houses. The Renners obtained a land-disturbance permit from the DNR’s regional office in Springfield."

Big Sugar Creek State Park [Click on Google Earth map for close up view]

Russell Renner, apparently doesn't mind taking farm subsidies, according to Environmental Working Group's Farm Subsidy Database. $17,608 for the period 2002-2004

Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Div. of Environmental Quality, Issued Permit Report, dated 7/11/2008
Russell Renner, Permit No. MOR10C028, dated 7/8/2008, 5 acres, McDonald County

Steve Renner likes farm subsidies, too, according to Environmental Working Group's Farm Subsidy Database. $24,152 for the period 2001-2004.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Quality, Issued Permit Report, dated 6/20/2008
Steve Renner, Permit No. MOR109C09, dated 6/13/2008, McDonald County

[Click on Google Earth map for close up view] Intersection of Missouri Highway 76 and Missouri Highway 43 in upper left. Russell Renner CAFO at Bunch Rd and McMillan Rd.-and- Steve Renner CAFO on (dead end) Mitchell Lane. Both CAFOs appear to be within the 15 mile buffer zone (using Google Earth maps).

CAFO's vs Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce

The Joplin Globe, Wednesday, September 28, 2008 reported that Judge Joyce's Cole County Circuit Court ruling, which prohibits construction of CAFOs within 15 miles of Missouri State Parks and Historic sites, is about to be tested.

In her ruling, Judge Joyce said the construction of confined-animal feeding operations near state parks and historic sites poses an unacceptable health risk because of “odors and volatile and dangerous airborne pollutants” emitted by them. She cited reports by the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support her position.

In declaring that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) had failed to protect Missouri’s state parks and historic sites, Judge Joyce also stripped away the department’s ability to issue new CAFO permits. The judge said she was in charge of that now. But since that ruling MDNR has issued two construction permits for poultry CAFOs that opponents say might be within 15 miles of Big Sugar Creek State Park in McDonald County.

CAFO permits: Russell Renner-Anderson,(McDonald Co.) MO. 64831, and Steve Renner-Anderson, (McDonald Co.) MO 64831

Renee Bungart, spokeswoman for MDNR, said the permits were issued on Sept. 15. She provided the following statement: “The Missouri Department of Natural Resources respects the court’s authority and will take all necessary actions to ensure compliance with its recent ruling. The department is carefully reviewing each CAFO permit application prior to issuance to ensure that it will not violate the court’s ruling. When applications are believed to be outside the scope of the court’s ruling and when they meet all regulatory requirements and demonstrate that the operation will protect water quality, the department is obligated by law to issue the permit.’’

Asked specifically about the 15-mile buffer around Big Sugar Creek State Park, Bungart said in a prepared response: “The department is unable to comment further on your questions due to pending litigation.’’

Big Sugar Creek State Park

CAFO Conference, Tuesday, Oct 14, Thiebaud Auditorium, Lamar, MO.

Thiebaud Auditorium
105 E. 11th Ttreet
Lamar, MO. 64759
7:00pm, Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Joplin Globe reported, Wednesday, September 24, 2008, that the program will begin at 7 p.m. with a showing of a documentary, “Everyone Lives Downstream.’’ The film, produced by two students at Pittsburg (Kan.) State University, depicts the impact of poultry CAFOs at Roaring River State Park. It will be followed by a report from a representative of the Roaring River Parks Alliance, which is mounting a legal fight.

Those attending will receive an update on a legal issue from a resident of Richland Township in Barton County, where voters overwhelmingly adopted measures last year to regulate hog CAFOs in the township. The vote was thrown out by a circuit judge. Residents have appealed the decision to a higher court.

Cat Logan Smith, with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, and Rhonda Perry, with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, also will speak. A representative of the Missouri Farmers Union also is set to speak.

The conference will continue with remarks by John Ikerd, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He will talk about the economic impact of CAFOs on family farms.

The conference will conclude with the showing of “Farming Was My Life,’’ a documentary that depicts the negative impact of factory farms on rural communities and traditional farmers.

Contact Links:
Roaring River Parks Alliance
Missouri Coalition of the the Environment
Missouri Rural Crisis Center
John Ikerd, PhD. University of Missouri-Columbia
Missouri Farmers Union

"Farming Was My Life", produced by Holly Hobbs
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

"Everyone Lives Downstream", produced by Tyler Swezey and Anthony Monteleone

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Residents, Judge Perform DNR's Duty

Wally Kennedy & The Joplin Globe's Editorial Board, Wednesday, August 27, 2008, reported that Presiding Judge Patricia S. Joyce, Cole County (MO) Circuit Court, ruled in favor of the Missouri Parks Association, the Village of Arrow Rock, and the Friends of Arrow Rock, in prohibiting the construction of a 4,800-head hog Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) from building within 15 miles of the National and State Historic Park. Today's Editorial said it all, "Residents, Judge Perform DNR's Duty. We want to celebrate and call it a victory. In reality, it's a tragedy....Make no mistake: Joyce's decision is a major victory for anyone who appreciates the natural beauty of the Ozarks. But the court's decision demonstrates a tragedy of tremendous proportion, because it shows that residents can not trust DNR to do its job."

Wally Kennedy's front page article, Court Ruling Halts CAFO Construction, does an excellent job characterizing the significance of Judge Joyce's ruling. Here is the link to the Case No. 07AC-CC00923, Missouri Parks Association, Village of Arrow Rock and Friends of Arrow Rock vs. Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Doyle Childers, Director; Cole County, MO. [Click on link to Missouri, pull down and click on 19th Judicial District, then under last name, type Friends of Arrow Rock]

Docket Entry: Judgment Entered
Text: Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment against Department of Natural Resources came before this Court for hearing on July 21, 2008. Both Plaintiffs and Defendant were represented by counsel. After reviewing the pleadings and considering the arguments of counsel, this Court grants Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and makes the rulings findings of facts and legal conclusions as outlined in the Judgment. PSJ (copies of Judgment faxed to Attorney of Record this date and certified hard copies mailed.)
Filing Party: JOYCE , PATRICIA S

Here are excerpts from The Joplin Globe article,
(1) Joyce wrote: “If the Gessling CAFO is constructed and placed in operation as planned, this will decimate and destroy an irreplaceable part of the historical heritage of this nation and this state.”
(2) The decision was hailed by opponents of a 65,600-chicken CAFO near Roaring River State Park. The Roaring River Parks Alliance has filed appeals of the permits the DNR has issued for constructing and operating the CAFO.
(3) Joyce, in her ruling, cited the Roaring River fight as a reason to block the Gessling CAFO. The state Administrative Hearing Commission, she said, entered a stay order commanding that construction not proceed on the chicken CAFO at Roaring River. The DNR, she said, “failed and refused” to honor or enforce the stay order.
(4) She said an appeal has been filed with the commission in an effort to stop construction of the Gessling CAFO. She wrote: “Even if the appeal is sustained by the commission, the plaintiffs are without an adequate remedy since the DNR has not within the past five years enforced, complied with or honored any stay order rendered by the commission.”
(5) Childers said the stay order involving the Roaring River site was not enforced because the chicken CAFO already had been built. But opponents said construction was still under way when the stay order was issued.
(6) The alliance, he said, filed the appeals to stop the chicken CAFO at Roaring River in an effort to prevent other CAFOs from being constructed there. The judge’s ruling, he said, eliminates the threat of new CAFOs being constructed near the park, one of Missouri’s top tourist destinations.
(7) The judge said the construction of CAFOs near state parks and historic sites poses an unacceptable health risk because of “odors and volatile and dangerous airborne pollutants” emitted by them. She cited reports by the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support her position.

CAFO Background on Missouri Parks (Arrow Rock, Athens, and Roaring River)
Arrow Rock State Park & Dennis Gessling
July 2007
Arrow Rock Public Information Meeting July 19 @ 5:00pm

Athens State Park & Terry Daw Farms
February 2007
Athens State Park (Clark County, MO), Terry Daw Farms, CAFO's & Cargill

Roaring RiverState Park & Michelle Ozbun
January 2007
Barry County, CAFOs and Ozbun Farms
February 2007
Citizens to Protect State Parks and Historic Sites
Barry County, CAFO's and Ozbun Farms, Part 2
March 2007
Eagle Rock Group Appealing CAFO Permit
"It's my land..." says Michelle Ozbun
Barry County, CAFO's and Ozbun Farms, Part 3
May 2007
Update on 65,600-chicken CAFO Eagle Rock, MO
August 2007
Ozbun's 65,600 chicken CAFO ON HOLD
March 2008
Ozbun CAFO hearing June 16-20, Jefferson City

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

CAFOs Affect Neighbor's Property

Study: CAFOs Affect Neighbor's Property, published in The Joplin Globe, May 25, 2008, describes a Barton County (MO) farmer's attempt to explain an unusually high number of twin calves with deformities in his Angus cattle herd. The rural Golden City farmer, Darvin Bentlage, says that his cattle are downstream from a hog CAFO lagoon (owned by Synergy LLC of Lamar). He wonders if waste water has made its way into a creek used by the herd with the excessive number of twins. He explained that "I know hog hormones affect cattle. We do embryo transplants. They use pig hormones to get cows to produce more eggs."
The article references the Pew Commission Report. Bob Martin, chairman of the Pew Commission is quoted as saying that the concern raised by Bentlage about his herd is justified.
The article also describes an effort on the part of Bentlage, and a neighbor, Zach McGuire, to identify the number of CAFOs in Barton County. They have counted 60-Class 2 and 11-Class 1 poultry and hog CAFOs in the eastern two-thirds of Barton County. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) webpage on CAFOs show only six. Bentlage discovered that the CAFOs are all placed next to a creek or stream. "Parking a lagoon right on a creek, well, that's just Russian roulette".

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Pew Charitable Trust & Johns Hopkins: CAFOs are Health Risks:

Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production - Save This Link, this is an excellent resource.

Pew Commission Says Industrial Scale Farm Animal Production Poses “Unacceptable” Risks to Public Health, Environment (Washington, DC – April 29, 2008) "The current industrial farm animal production (IFAP) system often poses unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and the welfare of the animals themselves, according to an extensive 2½-year examination conducted by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP), in a study released today. Commissioners have determined that the negative effects of the IFAP system are too great and the scientific evidence is too strong to ignore. Significant changes must be implemented and must start now. And while some areas of animal agriculture have recognized these threats and have taken action, it is clear that the industry has a long way to go."

USA Today's article, Health Risks Outweigh Farming Cost Cuts reports that "The way America produces meat, milk and eggs is unsustainable, creates significant risks to public health from antibiotic resistance and disease, damages the environment and unnecessarily harms animals, a report released Tuesday says. Representing two years of research by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, the report suggests ways to safeguard the safety and stability of U.S. meat, milk and egg production. A joint project of the non-profit Pew Charitable Trusts and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, it focuses on problems caused by a nationwide move to large, industrial-style animal-feeding facilities." April 29, 2008

The Kansas City Star article, Report Calls ‘Factory’ Farms a Threat "Industrial farms where animals are kept tightly confined present a serious and growing threat to humans, animals and the environment, a private commission reported Tuesday. The facilities can be harmful not only to workers and neighbors but also to others because of pollution and the potential for the spread of disease, according to the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production report. “One of the most serious unintended consequences of industrial food animal production is the growing public health threat of these types of facilities,” the report said. “There is increasing urgency to chart a new course” in agriculture, which has been shifting over the last 50 years from family farms to large livestock meat producers. The report came out of a 2½-year project of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit philanthropic organization, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health." April 29, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Land Use Affects Others

In a Letter to Editor, Geoff Caldwell warns "that (building a CAFO) does still not give one a “right” to just do whatever without regard to his neighbors, the surrounding environment, and future economic impact on tourism that affects many, many more Missourians than a few self-interested landowners. If the DNR won’t do its duty, perhaps it’s time for the counties to start applying permit fees or tax levies that make it so unprofitable that rogue landowners will be forced economically to do what they should already be doing ethically". The Joplin Globe, April 2, 2008.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Oklahoma AG Files Suit to Halt Poultry Waste Disposal

The Oklahoma Attorney General, W. A. Drew Edmondson, has filed a suit to halt poultry waste disposal in the Illinois River Watershed. Citing an “imminent and substantial endangerment” to public health, the State of Oklahoma today asked a federal judge to prohibit any further land application of poultry waste in the Illinois River Watershed (IRW). Showing a “direct path from the place of poultry waste disposal to the locations...where contamination is found,” the state presented evidence that the poultry companies’ reckless waste dumping methods are contributing to high levels of bacteria in the waters of the state. “We can show that fecal bacteria in poultry waste is reaching the surface water and groundwater,” Edmondson said. “Scientists found areas where the bacterial counts in runoff water from poultry waste disposal fields were similar to those found in raw, untreated human sewage. These bacteria can cause a myriad of gastrointestinal illnesses and infections through ingestion and skin contact. We need the court to stop the dumping of waste to protect public health and the safety of the state’s water resources.”

News Release, State Seeks to Halt Litter Application

Copy of, State of Oklahoma's Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Is this a strategy that our own Attorney General, Jay Nixon, could take on?

Monday, March 10, 2008

EPA Webcast on CAFO Rulemaking

EPA is hosting a web cast (March 14, 2008, 12:00pm - 2:00pm EST) to provide additional information on the supplemental notice of proposed rule making for the CAFO NPDES program that was published in the Federal Register on March 7, 2008. Participants will be able to submit questions about the supplemental proposal to the EPA presenters during the web cast to gain a better understanding of this rule making effort. This web cast is intended to support the public comment period for this proposed rule, which closes on April 7, 2008. To register for this free web cast, please visit

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ozbun CAFO hearing June 16-20, Jefferson City

The Appeal Hearing for the Ozbun CAFO Operating Permit (granted by MDNR on August 20, 2007 by MDNR), originally scheduled for March 10, 2008, has been rescheduled for June 16-20, 2008 in the Harry S. Truman Building (301 West High Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101). The Ozbun CAFO is located within a mile of Roaring River and the Roaring River State Park (Barry County, MO).

Roaring River Park Alliance
Local residents
Trout Fishermen
Tourism Groups
Rep. Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, MO.
John Price, Atty. (Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown-Springfield)

Michelle and Rodney Ozbun
Michael Schmid, Atty. (Schreimann, Rackers, Francka & Blunt-Jefferson City)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Missouri House Bill 1931 Initiative Petition

HB 1931 Changes the laws regarding the issuance of construction permits for concentrated animal feeding operations.
Summary of HB 1931
Text of HB 1931
Tracking HB 1931

The Joplin Globe's Wally Kennedy, Sunday, March 2, 2008, ran a cover story of CAFO issues in Southwest Missouri Wide Open for CAFOs, "Missouri bills would restrict CAFOs, subject them to local approval", and the new legislation introduced by Representative Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, HB 1931.

The article quotes rural Golden City farmers Darvin Bentlage and Zach McGuire, describing the proliferation of CAFO's around their property. It also references the controverys regarding CAFOs in close proximity to Roaring River, Arrow Rock and Battle of Athens State Parks. The article quotes Leslie Holloway, director of state and local government affairs with Missouri Farm Bureau as saying, “We are not in favor of trying to put to a vote an application for a ranch or individual family-farm operation. We think the current permitting works. Making an individual farm or ranch petition subject to a vote of residents of the county seems to be totally contrary to the whole idea of local planning.

The Joplin Globe article also includes an interview with Francis Forest, owner of Kenoma LLC who owns CAFOs near Golden City and the Richland Township in Barton County (MO). Zach McGuire and his neighbors in Richland Township, west of Golden City, already put their CAFO question to a vote. They attempted to control CAFOs at the township level by giving the township board the authority to regulate the numbers of animals in a CAFO. The board unanimously voted to place the zoning issue on the ballot last fall. It was approved in a record turnout of 206 voters in the township. It was endorsed by 81 percent of the voters. An injunction was filed by the board to stop construction of the hog CAFOs by Synergy LLC and Kenoma LLC, near the village of Kenoma, which locals now refer to as “Pig Town.”
Richland Township vs. KENOMA Farms & 2400 hogs
Richland Township vs. KENOMA LLC, Part II

Darvin Bentlage is quoted as saying, “Farmers around here know they are stewards of the soil, the land and the water. They know they have to preserve it for the next generation. If 80 percent of your neighbors tell you don’t do it, you don’t do it. You respect your neighbors. That’s what real family farmers do.”

To me that pretty well describes the difference between a CAFO and a family farmer. Don't you agree?

Red Flags Around CAFOs

Kaye Smith, a member of the Roaring River Parks Alliance had her essay published in The Joplin Globe, Red Flags Around CAFOs. She ask the question, When was the Department of Natural Resources put in charge of protecting our state’s economy? The word economy does not appear in their mission statement. They are charged to protect Missouri’s land, air and water resources and work to “preserve the state’s historic and natural heritage through state parks and historic sites.”

Somewhere along the line, this job has taken a back seat in the rush to build as many concentrated animal-feeding operations as our state will hold, including the one that has caused the recent ruckus — next door to Roaring River State Park. That’s the same park our DNR is pledged to protect.

The Roaring River Parks Alliance needs and deserves our support and encouragement. Contributions can be made to: Roaring River Parks Alliance, c/o Security Bank of Southwest Missouri, P.O. Box 606, Cassville, MO 65625.

Give CAFOs the Boot

Today's The Joplin Globe OPED, In Our View is titled Give CAFOs the Boot. One can’t wander too far around Southwest Missouri before discovering that factory farms have overplayed their hand at the expense of neighbors’ property values, our environment and quality of life.

(Missouri) House Bill 909, meanwhile, would prohibit CAFOs near state parks and historic sites by setting up a five-mile buffer. Arrow Rock and the Battle of Athens state historic sites already are threatened by hog CAFOs, and a 65,600 chicken CAFO already is operating not far from Roaring River State Park.

Other states have moved to protect their crown jewels — Oklahoma has 3-mile buffer around state parks for hog farms, for example. California put a 2.5-mile collar around one of its historic sites and some Indiana legislators want to keep CAFOs at least one mile from all schools, hospitals and daycare centers. That puts CAFOs in the same lineup as drug dealers and child molesters, by the way.

In point of fact, we think the time has come for a moratorium on all CAFOs in Missouri. Until then, we'll win the ground where we can.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

MDNR's CAFO Regulations Need Updated

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) just issued a press release, Department To Advise Clean Water Commission: Rule Needed To Meet EPA Deadline On Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will advise the Clean Water Commission at its next meeting that regulation changes are needed quickly to avoid U.S. Environmental Protection Agency objections to permits issued to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. The EPA's 2003 CAFO final rule is more stringent than current Missouri regulations. Missouri has until February 2009 to amend its regulations or face objections from the federal agency to new permits.

MDNR has established a CAFO Rule Workgroup consisting of a variety of interested parties, including environmental organizations. The department has met with the stakeholders and reviewed the draft amendment to be presented to the Clean Water Commission. The department will continue to hold workgroup meetings to discuss current and future rulemakings.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Air Conservation Commission

The Joplin Globe, Febuary 7, 2008, reported that the Air Quality Commission discussion included a proposal that would lower the threshhold to a 4-to-1 ratio, triggering additional state oversite, but odors would have to register 7-to-1 or above to trigger a violation. The Attorney General's office recommended lowering the state's air dilution standard to 2-to-1 from 7-to-1, along with a technology-based approach. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) proposed a new protocol that measures intensity, rather than just checking to see if it reaches the 7-to-1 ratio.

Here is the Odor Workgroup Report to the Missouri Air Conservation Commission, dated July 2007.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ozbun's 65,600 chicken CAFO ON HOLD

The Kansas City Star reports that on July 25, the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission issued a stay, requested by project opponents, based on an initial determination that a waiver for setbacks, obtained by Ozbuns from a neighbor, was not valid. The commission set another hearing for January 7-11, 2008. The construction delay could threaten owner Michelle Ozbun’s $1 million financing loan, and failure to obtain a properly signed waiver from the neighbor might prompt the Department of Natural Resources to reconsider issuing the permit, Missouri Administrative Hearing Commissioner John Kopp said.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Richland Township vs. KENOMA LLC, Part II

The Lamar Democrat reports that, the dispute between the Richland Township Board and Kenoma LLC entered Barton County Circuit Court, Monday, July 9, 2007, as the board filed a petition for a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief. Kenoma LLC is in the process of constructing a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) on Southeast 60th Road but has not reached the point of installing concrete structures. The township board alleges the intended project of Kenoma LLC is in violation of provisions of Section 5 of the township’s planning and zoning handbook, adopted April 30, 2007 and amended May 21, 2007.

During the hearing before Circuit Judge James Bickel, Kenoma LLC contended that Missouri law prohibits townships from regulating farm buildings or farm structures. A case from Putnam County ending in the Missouri Supreme Court was cited in which finishing buildings and livestock sewage lagoons were defined as farm structures. Richland Township is represented by attorney John Price of Springfield. Kenoma LLC’s legal counsel is Robert Brundage of Jefferson City. Judge Bickel took the case under advisement and indicated that a decision on issuing a temporary restraining order may be expected by Wednesday, July 11. The court set August 1 for a hearing on a petition for a preliminary injunction.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Arrow Rock Public Information Meeting July 19 @ 5:00pm

The Columbia Tribune, Sunday, July 1, reported that CAFO debates prompt agency to call meeting. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has scheduled a July 19 meeting in the cafeteria of Marshall High School. The meeting would begin at 5 p.m., when invited organizations such as the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will staff information booths, said MDNR spokeswoman Renee Bungart. At 6:30, MDNR representatives will give a short presentation that gives an overview of how CAFOs work and how Dennis Gessling has proposed to operate his," she said. Dennis Gessling’s filed his CAFO application in January 2007 to construct a 4,800-head hog farm, in close proximity to Arrow Rock, a national historic landmark. Department representatives will be available to answer questions until 8 p.m. that night, according to a news release.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Richland Township vs. KENOMA Farms & 2400 hogs

Raising a Stink is the headline in The Joplin Globe,Sunday, June 10, 2007, describing the probable litigation between Richland Township (Barton County, MO) and KENOMA LLC, owned by Francis Forst. In April 2007, Richland Township voters overwhelmingly approved new zoning regulations (81% YES). the new zoning regulations limit the number of hogs allowed to 800 head for 160 acres. KENOMA's plans for a 2400 head operation on 11 acres, don't quite adhere to the new zoning regulations. Apparently, KENOMA originally submitted to Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) an application, on March 1, 2007 for 4800 hogs on the 11 acre tract. MDNR told KENOMA that they (MDNR) do not regulate operations less that 2500 head, and KENOMA withdrew their application. Is it any coincidence that KENOMA now plans to build a 2400 head operation?
Members of the Richland Township Planning and Zoning board (Greg Harris-Chairman, Zach McGuire, Doug Haile and Tim Isenmann)along with their attorney, John Price (Springfield, MO) are discussing strategies to enforce the zoning restriction, including litigation. Curiously, Barton County Commissioner, Dennis Wilson, appears to be supporting KENOMA Farms, by quoting the Premium Standard Farms vs Lincoln Township of Putnam County case, as well as being quoted as saying, "You can have as many rights as you have dollars. You need the money or a really loud voice. If (the township) wants to do it and they've got the money, that's fine. It's just, how far do they really want to push this?"

The Lamar Democrat, Clash Between Proposed CAFO and Richland Township Looms, June 2, 2007 identifies the site as being on Southeast 60th Road, approximately 1.5 miles west of Route T. Another description refers to the site as 6 miles southeast of the City of Lamar. It goes on to state that KENOMA's plans are for seven surrounding barns, each with 2,600 weaned pigs at each site. Township Board member, Doug Haile is quoted as saying, "We have the full resolve to go forth to meet any legal challenge and the confidence that our resolution will prevail." Township Board Chairman Greg Harris, contends the odor will devalue rural property for residential purposes, and since the site is roughly six miles southeast of Lamar, it will have the same effect on Lamar property. With prevailing winds from the southeast during the summer months, he describes Lamar as being in the “bulls eye.” (his word)

Original post, Zoning Issue for 4,800 hog farm (Barton County), April 13, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Interview with Doyle Childers, Director MDNR

The Joplin Globe, OP-ED, Sunday May 27, 2007 included an interview between Carol Stark-Editor, The Joplin Globe and Doyle Childers-Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). There is also a link to the audio of the interview.

Regarding Renewable Environmental Solutions, LLC (RES), Childers said that he hopes RES can stay in Carthage because of its ground-breaking technology. On the other hand, he says if the company can’t operate without violating odor laws, then it can’t continue to exist in a town of 14,000 people. He added that it’s a problem he says has gone on too long. Part of the reason behind that, he says, is because everyone would like to see RES succeed.

Regarding CAFO's, very few, if any, CAFO permits are ever turned down by the DNR. Childers says if the laws aren’t being broken, then the DNR has to issue the permit. Changing those laws doesn’t fall to him but to legislators. In essence, Childers’ message is that we have more control over the fate of our environment than the DNR does.

Stark concludes that unfortunately, Childer's department doesn’t appear to have the power or the money to fix the problems.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources with cojones?

Carol Stark-Editor, The Joplin Globe,Sunday, May 27, 2007, declares to her readers that it is Time to Take Ownership. She states that between one-third and one-half of area streams and creeks routinely test for levels of E. coli so high that they are unsafe for bodily contact.

It will take willing legislators who lean more toward protecting the people than prostituting themselves for big agriculture. It will take community and county leaders who aren’t afraid of zoning and planning, tougher septic controls and implementation of rural sewer districts. And, finally, it will take a Missouri Department of Natural Resources with cojones.

All of this will mean taking ownership, not just of our favorite swimming or fishing holes, but for our part of the problem, for our septic systems, and our wastewater treatment plants, and our runoff from our farms. It also will mean taking ownership of the political process and making lifestyle changes today so we don’t wreck one of the best things about living in the Ozarks. It will take swimming upstream. It will take a lot of work. But count us in!

Knock, anyone listening.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

CAFO Resources, References and Links

Here are links to the most important resources and references in documenting the affects of CAFO's on our lives, our land, our air, and our water resources.

1. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Health Consultation, Final Report on Exposure Investigation Findings, Valley View Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

2. Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Guide to Animal Feeding Operations

3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, Animal Feeding Operations

4. Iowa Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Air Quality Study

5. Potential Health Effects of Odor From Animal Operations, Wastewater Treatment, and Recycling of Byproducts

6. Minnesota Medicine - Community and Environmental Health Effects of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

7. An Environmental Nuisance: Odor Concentrated and Transported by Dust

8. Quantification of Odors and Odorants from Swine Operations in North Carolina

9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Studies.1

10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Studies.2

11. Human Health Effects of Agriculture: Physical Diseases and Illness

12. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Public Health and Community Impacts

13. What are the Human Health Effects From Breathing the Air Near Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations for Feeder Cattle or Hogs?

14. APHA Precautionary Moratorium on New Concentrated Animal Feed Operations

15. Public Health Concerns for Neighbors of Large-Scale Swine Production Operations

16. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy - Food and Health Program Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Health Risks to Farmers and Workers

17. USDA National Workshop on Agricultural Air Quality

18. Health Effects of Aerial Emissions from Animal Production Waste Management Systems, White Paper Summary

19. Air Emissions From Animal Production Buildings,

20. Intensive Livestock Operations, Health, and Quality of Life Among Eastern North Carolina Residents

21. Airborne Multi-drug Resistant Bacteria Isolated from a Concentrated Swine Feeding Operation

22. Symptomatic Effects of Exposure to Diluted Air Sampled from a Swine Confinement Atmosphere on Healthy Human Subjects

23. NEIGHBOR HEALTH AND LARGE-SCALE SWINE PRODUCTION, A White Paper Prepared for the Conference An Agricultural Safety and Health Conference: Using Past and Present to Map Future Action, March 3-4, 2001, Baltimore, Maryland

24. Public Health Assessment ValAdCo Confined Livestock Operation, Renville County, Minnesota, February 2003

25. Increased Animal Waste Production from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOS): Potential Implications for Public and Environmental Health. Nebraska Center for Rural Health Research

26. Monitoring and Modeling of Emissions from CAFOs: Overview of Methods. Environmental Health Perspectives, November 2006

27. Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations (CAFOs) Chemicals Associated with Air Emissions. CAFO subcommittee of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, May 10, 2006.

28. The Confinement Animal Feeding Operation Workshop, June 23-24, 1998, Washington, DC. National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 1998

29. Bacterial Plume Emanating from the Air Surrounding Swine Confinement Operations. Christopher F. Green, Shawn G. Gibbs, et al. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Volume 3, Number 1, January 2006

30. Confined Animal Facilities in California, November 2004

31. Animal Factories: Pollution and Health Threats to Rural Texas, May 2000. Consumer Union.

32. Health Effects of Airborne Exposures from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Environmental Health Perspectives, February 2007.

33. Detecting and Mitigating the Environmental Impact of Fecal Pathogens Originating from the Confined Animal Feeding Operations: Review. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/600/R-06/021, September 2005.

34. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Impacts of Animal Feeding Operations. December 31, 1998.

35. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6, Swine CAFO Odors: Guidance for Environment Impact Assessment.

36. Ambient hydrogen sulfide, total reduced sulfur, and hospital visit for respiratory diseases in northeast Nebraska, 1998-2000. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology, March 2004.

37. Community Health and Socioeconomic Issues Surrounding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Environmental Health Perspectives, February 2007.

38. EPA Gives Animal Feeding Operations Immunity from Environmental Statutes in a Sweetheart Deal. Laura Karvosky, Vermont Journal of Environmental Law

39. Impacts of Waster from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations on Water Quality, Environmental Health Perspectives, February 2007.

40. Race, Poverty, and Potential Exposure of Middle-School Students to Air Emissions from Confined Swine Feeding Operations, Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2006.

41. The Potential Role of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Infectious Disease Epidemics and Antibiotic Resistance, Environmental Health Perspectives, Feb 2007.

42. Raising a Stink: Air Emissions from Factory Farms, Michele Merkel, July 1, 2002.

43. Feedlot Air Quality Summary, Data Collection, Enforcement and Program Development, March 1999. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

44. Testimony of Karen Hudson. Peoria County Board of Public Health, Illinois. July 19, 2001.

45. Odor from industrial hog farming operations and mucosal immune function in neighbors, Archives of Environmental Health, February 2004.

46. Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria from the Air Plume Downwind of a Swine Confined or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, Environmental Health Perspectives, July 2006.

47. The effect of environment odors emanating from commercial swine operations on the mood of nearby residents, Brain Research Bulletin, Volume 37, Issue 4, 1995.

48. The health significance of environmental odor pollution, Archives of Environmental Health, January-February 1992.

49. Livestock Odors: Implications for Human Health and Well-Being, Journal of Animal Science, 1998.

50. An Evaluation of Health Concerns in Milford, Utah and the Possible
Relationship of Circle Four Farms to Those Concerns
. Southwest Utah
Board of Health, Southwest Utah Public Health Department, February 2001.

51. Science of Odor as a Potential Health Issue, Journal of Environmental Quality, January-February 2005.

52. Environmental Injustice in North Carolina's Hog Industry, Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2000.

53. NPDES Permit Writers' Guidance Manual and Example NPDES Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, December 31, 2003.

54. Consent Decree Between USA and Citizens Legal Environmental Action Net Work, Inc and Premium Standard Farms Inc. Case No. 97-6073-CV-SJ-6. United States District Court, Western District of Missouri, St. Joseph Division.

55. Human Health Effects of Hog Waste, Swinker M., North Carolina Medical Journal 59:16-18 (1998).

56. Control study of the physical and mental health of residents living near a large-scale swine operation. Thu K, Donham K, Ziegenhorn R, Reynolds S, Thorne P, Subramanian P, Whitten P, Stookesberry J.A., Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health 3:13-26 (1997).

57. Beware of Manure Pit Hazards. Howard J.D, Howard L.P, William M., Michigan State University Extension.

58. Final Technical Work Paper for Human Health Issues, Animal Agriculture GEIS, Jan 2001. Earth Tech, Inc., Minneapolis, MN. Minnesota Planning, St. Paul, MN.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Update on 65,600-chicken CAFO Eagle Rock, MO

Wally Kennedy, reports in The Joplin Globe, May 8, 2007, that over 60 people are being listed as part of the appeal, filed in opposition to a permit to construct a 65,600-chicken CAFO near Roaring River State Park. The date for the appeal hearing has not been set. A group opposing the project, Friends of Roaring River, is taking pledges to help support the cost of the appeal. Pledges can be made by contacting Ruth Buchner, of Eagle Rock, 417-271-4478.

Here are previous posts on the Ozbun CAFO, located near Eagle Rock (Barry County) MO and the Friends of Roaring River:
Eagle Rock Group Appealing CAFO Permit
"It's my land..." says Michelle Ozbun
Barry County, CAFO's and Ozbun Farms, Part 3
Barry County, CAFO's and Ozbun Farms, Part 2
Barry County, CAFOs and Ozbun Farms

Moratorium proposed on CAFOs

Wally Kennedy reports in The Joplin Globe, May 8, 2007, the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, recently adopted a resolution supporting a moratorium on CAFOs until potential hazards to the health and welfare of Missouri residents can be resolved and residents’ safety can be reasonably assured. The resolution is (1) in response to the accumulation of medical and scientific evidence documenting negative effects to humans, animals and the environment. The group said (2) CAFOs contribute to the depositing of heavy metals in soil and water, and promote the excessive use of hormones and growth stimulators to force rapid maturation of food animals; (3) CAFOs have been found to be among the largest point-source producers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria through misapplication of antibiotics as food additives and growth enhancers.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Update #2 on GBE and Webster County Ethanol Plant

An update on the controversy surrounding Citizens of Rogersville ( Webster County) MO vs. Gulfstream Bioflex Energy and Update #1 on GBE and Webster County Ethanol Plant , Mike Penprase, The Springfield News-Leader, reported May 5, 2007 that (Boone County Circuit) Judge Frank Conley in Webster County District Court, ruled in favor of the Defendant, Gulfstream Bioflex Energy (GFE) of Mount Vernon, MO, lifting the temporary restraining order, allowing GBE to begin construction of a new $165 million ethanol plant. Here are links to this article and related articles about the decision and the project.

The Issues:
* 1.3 million gallons of water per day used by proposed ethanol plant
* 400,000 gallons per day of contaminated water from proposed ethanol plant
* "Cone of Depression"-a lowered water table, Missouri State University Study (2005)
* Ozark Aquifer has already dropped 140' in places from 1987-2004
* More than half of nearly 300 well owners in northern Green County (MO) reported problem with their wells in a survey five years ago by the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.
* Landowner Larry Porter, wants to sell his 250 acres farm to GBE for $12,000 per acre, where the typical price for an acre of land is $2,500-$3,000.

Gulfstream Bioflex Energy - defendant
Bryan Wade, attorney for defendant (Springfield, MO.)
Greg Wilmouth, V.P.(co-founder)
James Kaiman, President
Charles Luna

Citizens for Groundwater Protection - plaintiff
William (Bill) McDonald, attorney for plaintiff
Larry Alberty
Dean Alberty
Gary Rogers
Dave Pitts

Ethanol plants come with hidden cost: Water Bill Lambrecht, St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes a thorough review of the basic issues in the ethanol-water controversy.

Judge approves Webster County ethanol plant Matt Wagner's report, Springfield Business Journal, includes references to the testimony of the defendant's industry experts, including: Jim Van Dyke, groundwater section chief for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; John Van Brahana, a University of Arkansas hydrogeologist; and Ray Hamilton, a Denver-based engineer with Carter & Burgess. The plaintiff's attorney is quoted in the article as saying that Judge Conley erred by applying a standard of proof higher than a “reasonable likelihood” that the plant would negatively affect the groundwater supply. “We’re filing post-trial motions, and we’ll – in all probability – appeal,” he said, adding that his clients have 30 days to file the motion.

White River Group of the Sierra Club's program “Ethanol Production in the Ozarks,” The Springfield News-Leader reports on the meeting, scheduled for 7:00pm, Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. The program will feature, Bob Schulteis, University of Missouri Extension and Chairman of the Webster County committee to study the proposed Rogersville ethanol plant.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Air and Water Quality are the 1,000 lb. Economic Gorillas

In Our Opinion, Counties Need More Controls The Joplin Globe, Friday April 20, 2007 came out and said it,
1. State legislators should do whatever they can to give counties greater control over where large livestock and fowl operations can locate.
2. Counties should have the power to be restrictive if CAFOs threaten the quality of water, air and, under many circumstances, rural lifestyle.
3. All counties should have health ordinances on their books to protect their constituencies.
4. Many farmers and rural residents see factory farms as potential spoilers of water and air quality and of quality of life.
5. Air and water quality promise to be the 1,000-pound economic gorillas of the future.
6. The Joplin region needs a large water impoundment to guarantee enough water for this growing area. What it doesn’t need are gagging odors permeating the air and animal wastes jeopardizing rivers and creeks. Only local control can guarantee that.

Let's get behind The Joplin Globe's bold challenge. The Jasper County commissioners have expressed little interest in developing local CAFO rules. In a related article, The Joplin Globe quotes Commissioner Honey as saying that the county does not have the expertise or the money for workers to enforce CAFO rules, which would have to be adopted as part of a health ordinance because the county does not have zoning and planning. Hello Jasper County Commissioners Jim Honey, Darieus Adams and John Bartosh. Maybe it is time to start talking about County Zoning and County Health Ordinances. Japer County needs zoning and health ordinances. This issue needs to be moved up on the priority list. This time let's be proactive, before the next CAFO or landfill files for an application. How many more Jasper County streams have to be declared unfit and dangerous before we take the initiative to take control?

Friday, April 13, 2007

MO Senate Bill 534

Missouri Senate Bill 534, proposed by southwest Missouri Sen. Gary Nodler, would target persistent offenders who violate air and water pollution regulations. This legislation would apply to CAFOs as well as recycling companies that process animal parts.

Recent headlines:
Substitute CAFO legislation draws critics The Joplin Globe, April 9, 2007

Modifies the law relating to concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and the penalties for offenses perpetrated by these operations

Political hot potato heats up for CAFO bill The Joplin Globe, March 24, 2007

Committee on Legislative Research Oversight Division Fiscal Note

The Facts about CAFOs, Local Control,

The Facts about CAFOs, Local Control, and Health Ordinances Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Columbia, Missouri provides an excellent portrait of the CAFO crisis. They conclude that current Missouri standards are NOT sufficient for industrial livestock operations, after reviewing health risks, economic development, property rights and defining what it means to be a good neighbor.

Zoning Issue for 4,800 hog farm (Barton County)

The Joplin Globe, Saturday, March 30, 2007, reported that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) received an application from Francis Forst, Kenoma LLC, for a 4,800 hog farm on 11 acres in Richland Township, Barton County, MO. Initially the application was for 4,800, but after Darrick Steen, Agriculture Chief for MDNR's water protection program, explained that the proposed number of animals would subject the operation to strict regulatory oversight, the application was amended to 2,400 sows.

The concern of neighbors is the combination of the proposed operation -and- the existing 4,500 head cattle operation of Kevin van der Poel, Focal Dairy, in Richland Township and Vernon County. The operations would be in close proximity to Pettis Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Spring River.

John Stocksdale, Doylesport Township, Barton County, passed zoning and planning eight years ago. He suppported the proposition because citizens were concerned about the impact of concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, on land and property values. He said there hasn’t been any controversy with the proposition since it passed and the board just makes sure everyone in the township understands the rules. The result, Stockdale said, is safety for everyone in the township. “Instead of taking away people’s rights, it protects them,” Stockdale said.

Election Results:
Richland Township Zoning
Yes . . 167. . . . . . . .
No . . . 39. . . . . . . .
The Lamar Democrat, Wednesday, April 4, 2007