ANOTHER CAFO A COMIN’ – TO ALLEN COUNTY THAT IS

If you have followed my blog from its inception this past January, then you all know my intense dislike of these entities. They are simply large buildings which contain thousands of animals crammed into the spaces. The animals do not see the light of day – unless you count the windows (if there are any). The animals are fed hormones and antibiotics in addition to their daily ration of feed.

Well, get ready, another one is coming to Allen County. That makes a total of three to date if I have kept accurate account. Three may not sound like a lot of CAFOs, but Mr. Schuhler is increasing his “pig purgatory” from 900 pigs to close to 10,000 hogs. Each hog as it nears finishing weight is capable of producing close to 15 pounds of manure a day. Do the math – that is 15 x 9200 – not counting the 500 nursery pigs – or 138,000 pounds of manure a day – 50,370,00 pounds a year. Fifty million plus pounds of manure a year. Think about it, and,

IT HAS TO GO SOMEWHERE, FOLKS.

The Google image following the public notice shows that the facility is located in southern Allen County southeast of the airport. What should be of major concern to the citizens of Allen County is its location near Snyder Ditch.

Liquid manure is stored beneath these giant confinement cages and is then hauled out to fields to be distributed onto the fields by a flying spray from a quaintly named vehicle – a honey wagon. The proximity of some of the fields next to the ditch means that runoff will occur into the waters of the ditch and, ultimately, into one of our larger river resources – the St. Marys River as it flows through southeastern Allen County. The St. Marys already has a higher than acceptable level of e. coli, and adding more to the river will further increase that level.

I would urge any concerned citizens to start contacting IDEM to express your concerns about the CAFO.

What irritates me in addition to CAFOs themselves is the idea that in order to view this document one has to make an “appointment” at IDEM in Indianapolis to see the plan proposed by Mr. Schuhler. I will be contacting IDEM to see if the document will be available here at an Allen County office for viewing. I will also be calling on the zoning board and the plan commission to see if they have a role in this environmental hazard.

PUBLIC NOTICE
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
Eligibility for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System General Permit
Name and Address of Applicant:
Robert Schuhler, Owner Farm ID# 4942
Schuhler Farms
732 East – Hamilton Road
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46819
Location of Facility Applying for Permit:
Near the Junction of Hamilton Road and Conners Road, at approximately 732 East – Hamilton Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46819, in Section 25, Township 29 North, Range 12 East, in Allen County.

Background and Applicable Regulations
The above-named applicant operates an existing/IDEM approved confined feeding operation with two (2) buildings housing 500 nursery-pigs and 400 wean-to-finish hogs.

The above-named applicant proposes to construct two (2) 4,400 head capacity wean-to-finish swine confinement buildings. All buildings will possess a self contained concrete pit beneath slatted floors for the storage of liquid manure. The total capacity of this swine confinement operation will be 500 nursery-pigs and 9,200 finishing hogs. The applicant has submitted an application and a Notice of Intent (NOI) for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) general permit to comply with IC 13-18-10 and 327 IAC 15-15.

Public Review and Comment
This application is available for review in the Office of Land Quality, 100 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, Monday through Friday, excluding official holidays, between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. E.S.T. Please contact the Public File Room Clerk at to schedule an appointment. An IDEM staff person is available to discuss the contents of the application with any interested party, either by telephone at , , extension 4-1623, or a visit to the office.
Written statements regarding the eligibility of the facility to operate under the general NPDES CAFO rule (327 IAC 15-15) may be submitted to IDEM.
Comments should be addressed to IDEM (address below):

INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
Thomas F. Park, Jr.,Ph.D.
Solid Waste Permits Section
Office of Land Quality
100 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
11–6 604165

The following image from Google shows the location of the proposed CAFO.

cafo-allen-county.jpg

If you would like to take a Sunday drive, by all means, drive out to view the site of the newest Allen County pig purgatory. And, as you do so, you can thank Daniels and Skillman for this newest blight on our environment. They were the proponents of the “Possibilities Unbound” which established a goal of doubling pork production within the next several years. Looks like Allen County is a part of their plan, and, if we don’t want these operations in our backyard, then we better start doing something. If Daniels and Skillman have their way, these are a wave of the future and a disastrous wave at that.

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Agriculture and Food Production, Business, Cities and Towns, Confined Animal Feeding Operations, Environment, Fort Wayne, Rivers, St. Marys River. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to ANOTHER CAFO A COMIN’ – TO ALLEN COUNTY THAT IS

  1. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    Charlotte,

    I find these operations a troubling issue. The issue of dealing with the manure is little more then an open air/surface septic tank system.

    I will not argue about Daniels and his indians being the “rubber stamp” for these kind of operations.

    However, the current Mayor and Tom Henry have spoken on how they want to use the rivers in Fort Wayne. It is time for them to rally the local troops and fight this on behalf of all of residents of Fort Wayne.

  2. J.Q.

    What is truly amazing is the push to double the pork production. Most people don’t pay attention to some of these issues, and Daniels slides his ideas through. And lest anyone gleefully look for pork prices to come down here in Indiana or the U.S., think again. The goal is to sell the meat to countries such as China which now find themselves with increased disposable income. And, of course, what better place to put that income than into a product that sucks up resources and is not cost effective.

    I called IDEM yesterday and requested a copy of the manure storage plan. The individual I spoke to was cordial but seemed irritated that I would want a hard copy of a document. He said he could probably help me with any questions or concerns I had. I don’t think so! So we will see how long it takes me to get the plan.

    I also contacted Mark Royse yesterday at the Allen County Department of Planning Services. He spoke to me and said he would right down the hall and get the information on the County’s role and call me right back. I didn’t hear from him. To be fair, it was about 3:00 p.m., so I imagine everyone was winding up and getting ready for the weekend. Maybe I will hear from him on Monday. If not, I will keep calling.

    I hope to speak with Mayor Henry once he is transitioned into office. I am a member of the newly-created St. Marys Watershed Initiative, and I would like to see a plan to improve our rivers rather than exploit them. Slashing and destroying all the vegetation along river banks and building walls and levees is not my idea of enhancing our rivers.

  3. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    I could not agree with you more. Diking and levees does not cure the problem.

    Spraying manure on most fields around these parts means it will end up in the rivers. Most soils have very low perking rate. Because of that most fields have shallow draining systems to drain the water to the creeks and rivers.

    I would believe the Maumee River group would like to wade in on this issue.

    I wonder why the EPA would not wade in on this? They are pushing to clean up the water of the Maumee watershed because of the effect it is having on Lake Erie. The run off of this farm could be in Lake Erie in one or two days.

    Do I trust IDEM? Let see…. thinking here… NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO,and NO!

    I am sure there are elected officials all over OHIO that do not want this farm operation to be approved.

    I think Karen Goldner would grab ahold of this issue because of her support for the North River Project.

  4. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    You may or may not know the following yet but I am wondering the following

    1- Does the ditch to the south of his property flood? How far does it flood into his fields?

    2- What type of holding/storage system is he going to use?

    3- How is he getting rid of the manure?

    4- He is running this entire business on his own or does he have others (private or corp) investors?

    5- If he has other companies involved, are any of them that had problems in the in the other operations?

    I am just trying to start getting my hands around this monster. I took part in fighting one other CAFO and lost. However, it was in an area far from the make up of Allen County.

    We need to rally everyone and educate them the best we can. This CAFO crosses over every policial line because it is a health issue on both the water and air quailty.

    FWROADKILL@Yahoo.com

  5. J.Q.

    I hope to receive the info this week, so as soon as I get it, maybe I will be able to answer some of your questions.

    Mr. Park, the individual at IDEM whom I spoke to, said Schuhler was going to use injection as the method of disposing of the manure. I haven’t been able to track down any others involved yet. I checked the Indiana corporate filings and didn’t see anything as far as an incorporation.

    A number of these operations are owned and operated by individuals from the Netherlands. Stephen Vander Hoff, a Michigan CAFO operator, has formed a company called Vreba-Hoff Development Authority to help relocate Dutch operators here to the Tri-State area of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. In 2006, the Vander Hoffs had 6,000 cows producing as much waste as a city of at least 138,000 people.

    Many choose the tri-state region because of its affordable land, access to water, favorable climate, and simpler regulations. Farmers have been moving here from the Netherlands for a few years, in part because environmental laws in the European Union have become so stiff.

    While I am waiting on my info,I am going to do some more research on the area and Snyder Ditch.

  6. J.Q.

    Just located this website touting the Vreba-Hoff’s efforts to relocate Dutch operators.

    http://www.vrebahoff.com/

    See what you think. The Vreba-Hoff focus is on dairy farmers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it isn’t available to hog farmers as well.

  7. J.Q. Taxpayer says:

    One of my concerns is some like the company you mentioned may be in the background. That the farmer is a figure head. If not, does this guy have the funds to make this operation fly.

    I have several sites I want to send to you. But I am on my laptop over my desk machine. When I get back home later tonight I will send them to you.

    I looked at the county GIS site and a good share of the property around his him is in the flood plain. I will send that site to you.

    I also notice that he has a fair number of neighbors who make not take to kind to this.

    I was readin IDEM law today and Allen County employees should have known about this operation since it was filed for. In most counties around the state the local County has pushed for a public hearing. So I wonder why Allen County is setting on thier hands.

    I had a figure for how much manure from this size operation when compared to the number of humans it would take to produce the same amount. But I did not mark the site. I am looking for it later tonight

    Do we have any other CAFOs here in Allen County? If so, where are they at?

    Well I need to run. I will post later

  8. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    Charlotte,

    Here are some sites…

    They provide links to even more interesting things. Let me know what you think

    http://www.kemplog.com/

    http://www.factoryfarm.org/

    http://www.nationaltrust.org/rural_heritage/CAFO_Fact_Sheet_8-6-07.pdf

    http://nocafos.org/

  9. forwardmovingfw says:

    Hi Charlotte,
    Is there anything I can do to help? I wouldn’t even know where to start on something like this. I am a local ARA, and can’t stand to see these facilities!

  10. Tom says:

    We had a CAFO built half a mile from us. What gets me is how irresponsible our government employees are and how the little man always gets the shaft. People emailed Becky Skillman about the expansion. She eventually came to this area, driving just half a mile past the people who emaild her (worried about damaged wells and property value) and went directly to the CAFO.

    When I went to show my presentation to one of the commissioners, she immediately and rudely cut me off. One of the BZA members said that he didn’t think that it would damage any wells. At this point of time a well had already been damaged.

    The figure that they gave for total water usage averaged out to only one ounce of water a day per cow (0.1% of what it actually was). Commissioners are always asking this question and should have had a good idea as to what it should have been. Yet they didn’t bat an eye and OK’d the expansion.

    Obiously, our governor, lt. governor, and commissioners support people who give bogus information. They definitely sold out our health and property value. Would they have made the same decisions that they made if this CAFO was built in their back yard?

  11. nostinkyforme says:

    I read with interest this website and its contents. Now we have another hog farm be proposed in Allen county. I think it would be in the interest of our citizens to review the history of these type farms in the neighboring county of Ohio. I know for a fact that the lawsuits that came out of the Cooper Farms hog farm on Ohio 637 resulted in a settlement and buyout of the neighbors homes. This was due to the bad water from the wells in the area and also the poisoning of the air quality that resulted in several of the persons having medical problems that were permanent . Is this what the county (which includes Fort Wayne) wants to be known for in our state. I for one hope to do all I can to get these farms stopped and put out of business.

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  15. Mike says:

    This is from the Indiana Legislative Service Agency
    IC-13-18-10:

    A person may not: (1) throw, run, drain, or otherwise dispose into any of the streams or waters of Indiana; or (2) cause, permit, or suffer to be thrown, run, drained,
    allowed to seep, or otherwise disposed into any waters; any organic or inorganic matter that causes or contributes to a polluted condition of any waters, as determined by a rule of the [water pollution control] board.

    _ In addition to the prohibition on causing or contributing to a polluted condition, and the permitting provisions, the commissioner of the environment has general authority to “take appropriate steps to prevent any pollution that is determined to be unreasonable and against public interests in view of the condition in any stream or other waters of Indiana.”

    _ Another provision prohibits the discharge of any contaminant or waste into the environment in “any form that causes or would cause pollution that violates or would violate rules, standards, or discharge or emission requirements” adopted by the board.. and prohibits deposit of a contaminant on the land that “creates or would create a pollution hazard that violates or would violate a rule” and prohibits deposit of “solid waste…in or immediately adjacent to a lake or stream”.

    _ Indiana also has broad general authorities applicable to pollution events. The governor may issue an emergency order if contamination of air, water, or land presents a “clear and present danger” to the “health and safety of persons in any area,” and the commissioner may file suit if a pollution source is presenting “an imminent and substantial endangerment” to health or livelihood.14 An environmental enforcement law authorizes the attorney general, a political subdivision of the state, a citizen or a corporation or association to bring actions in the name of the state “for the protection of environment from significant pollution, impairment, or destruction” after notice to the state and failure of the appropriate state agency to act.

    _ Nuisance law may apply to some nonpoint source pollution events. Indeed, the water pollution law defines “water pollution” as including discharges of contaminants that can “create a nuisance or make the waters harmful, detrimental, or injurious” to public health, safety or welfare, legitimate uses of water, or animals, fish or aquatic life. Indiana law also provides that “Whatever is injurious to health, or indecent, or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as essentially to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property is a nuisance, and the subject of an action.” However agricultural and industrial operations are insulated from public and private nuisance actions by virtue of changed conditions in the vicinity if they have operated for more than one year, were not a nuisance when they began, and there was no significant change in the operation; the exception does not apply if the nuisance results from “negligent” operation.

    _ The state does regulate water pollution from confined animal feeding operations similarly to federal requirements, but with somewhat different size limits and including operations in violation of water pollution laws or rules. Prior approval from IDEM is required before commencing construction of a CAFO, but not a construction permit. Enforcement is via administrative orders, injunctions, and penalties.

    Time and time, I have seen the careless acts of a CAFO owner and how they don’t follow the rules. When addressing this to the commissioners, our representative, and Becky Skillman, it goes nowhere.

    I have now come to the conclusion that either Indiana’s laws are foreign to its government or the government refuses to follow the rules that it lays down.
    I now see why CAFO owners don’t follow the rules. Why should they when the government makes a mockery of its own laws!

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