The Michigan legislature has received bills that would put a a moratorium on any new concentrated animal feeding operations. The state's Department of Environmental Quality could get more power over the farms, including determining permits and conduct a more detailed evaluation of the current operations in the state, including how close the farms are to drinking wells and other sensitive areas.
The bills' goal, say supporters, is to "cut down pollution from large farms." Roughly 250 of Michigan’s 53,000 farms are considered to be CAFOs, reports the Enquirer newspaper.
“These factory farms and the mass waste and pollution they produce threaten the health of Michigan citizens and the financial well-being of family farms,” state Sen. Ray Basham, said in a statement.
The Michigan Farm Bureau and others are opposing the bills. Farm Bureau officials say the legislation unfairly paints all large operations as “bad actors” and disrespects ongoing efforts from the agriculture industry to protect the environment.
“Imposing a moratorium based on arbitrary and unscientific reasoning on the growth and expansion of agriculture, Michigan’s second largest industry, is unreasonable, economically irresponsible and unfair punishment to Michigan farmers who are complying with environmental laws,” the Michigan Farm Bureau said in a statement.
Source: The Enquirer newspaper