So another CAFO is on its way to Allen County, and it will not be stopped.
Certainly the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) will not stop it, for its only role is to rubber-stamp those applications that are received and appear to meet its minimal requirements. Daniels and Skillman made it known in 2005 through their agricultural plan that the goal was to double pork production in the next few years.
Certainly Allen County will not stop it, for County officials do not even understand the issue and have allowed the issue to languish. County officials haven’t even bothered to take a good, hard look at the environmental and health risks associated with CAFOs and the impact on the quality of life in Allen County.
Certainly our state legislators will not stop it, for they have consistently failed to confront the issue with any amount of seriousness. For two years now, legislation has been introduced, but the legislature has failed to act on any of it. The interest groups that support the exploding CAFO industry have managed to persuade our legislators that regulation isn’t necessary.
Certainly, the double-crossing nephew who lied to his aunt as to his intentions when purchasing her land will not stop it, for he knew his plan all along was to build a CAFO. His aunt, Pam Bradtmueller, has asked “where is his conscience?” To her, he no longer has one.
Doug Bradtmueller filed his CAFO application with IDEM on July 10, 2008, and received approval on August 15, 2008. The decision barely took five weeks, a length of time that indicates just how little is required of IDEM to review and rubber-stamp a CAFO application. Although IDEM provided a comment period, it quickly rejected a request for a public hearing subsequent to the numerous complaints it received during that comment period.
IDEM’s hasty actions make clear it isn’t interested in providing a forum to discuss any environmental or health concerns of surrounding residents. IDEM is simply interested in kowtowing to the governor’s mandate to double pork production in a few short years.
It is time for the citizens of Allen County to wake up and understand what is happening to its rural environment. CAFOs are called factory farms for a reason; these mega farms are not agriculture. They are industrial farms, and just like any other burgeoning industry, they bring with them increased environmental and health hazards.
Photo Credit: Google Images
So, if we cannot count on our elected officials to act, and we cannot count on IDEM to protect us, then we must take on the task ourselves. Arm yourselves with information, dig into the process of CAFO approvals, and research the hazards to our environment and our health. but most of all, be prepared to take a stand and be prepared not to stand back. Our environment and quality of life are too important.