CAFO victims in Western NY and all over New York State are complaining that the Department of Environmental Conservation is not enforcing regulations. In Niagara County, neighbors in Wilson are trying to get enforcement action for violations by CAFO owner Flevie Danielewicz. Manure slurry from the Danielewicz farm is running into a nearby creek and from there into Lake Ontario. Slurry residue is visible in roadside culverts. The stench is indescribable. According to a neighborhood group, a representative from Region 9 DEC inspected the Danielewicz operation last August after complaints about air and water violations. It has been 6 months and there is still no report. Neighbor, John Minnick, claims that his phone calls are not returned or he is put on hold and left there.
In Eden, NY, neighbor Gregg Kaczmarzyk describes his life as a CAFO neighbor as pure hell. Gregg says his neighbor has 400 cows packed into a couple of acres. Residential housing including a soon-to-be built new development of 24 houses surrounds this CAFO. The DEC has complaints about overflowing manure lagoons and ground water contamination from the CAFO. Gregg has not received a promise of action from the DEC.
There are seventeen permitted CAFOs in Erie County and seven in Niagara County. Over the years, the Region 9 DEC has received stacks of complaints about excessive manure runoff or toxic hydrogen sulfide emissions. We now have further validation from the courts that CAFOs are point sources of pollution and they must be regulated. In New York, that job is entrusted to the DEC. We have learned that we cannot trust the DEC to do its job. The citizens who have the misfortune to live near these agri-criminals continue to suffer a great injustice.
www.FriendsofRuralNY.org The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York declared yesterday that a 2003 Bush administration rule violates the Clean Water Act. The rule allowed CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) to apply manure to land without federal oversight or public input. CAFOs are point sources of water pollution that must be regulated under the Clean Water Acts permitting program, which in New York State is administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The court agreed that CAFO polluters must be held accountable because they pose a threat to public health.