Clean air and water issues

By Karen L. Hudson
Farmer, Board Member, Illinois Citizens for Clean Air & Water (ICCAW), Socially Responsible Agricultural Project consultant

Editor’s note: The following material is the Oct. 16 weekly newsletter of the ICCAW. The ICCAW is a grassroots organization of farmers, educators, environmentalists and just plain citizens who are activists protecting the quality of the state’s aquifers and the air we breathe. They see CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), or factory farms, as one of the most severe threats, alongside their processing plants, to our local and national environments. Please support the ICCAW in any way you can and keep informed on these issues by going to We thank the ICCAW for providing these references on issues that affect our health and quality of life.

ICCAW Meeting

Thank you to all of you who attended the ICCAW meeting Saturday Oct. 13, in Elmwood, Ill. We are especially grateful that, despite your crazy schedules or out of state locations, you were able to make it. Special thanks to those of you who shared your compelling personal stories. We were all moved and motivated to continue our cause with even greater conviction. As always, it was wonderful to see everyone, hear the stories and learn about the continuous hard work and research being done by all of you. It was rejuvenating to have the opportunity to sustain the valued friendships we have cultivated over the years and be reminded that, together we are truly making a difference.

Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water, Food and Water Watch, and the Environmental Integrity Project recently interviewed on Chicago’s Mike Nowak Show

Illinois citizens for Clean Air and Water, Food and Water watch and Environmental integrity Project were joined by rural Illinois resident Dave Leifheit to discuss the negative impacts of CAFOs. To listen to the podcast, click on the link below.

Help kick off the second year of FACT’s Fund-a-Farmer Project!

Show your support by attending the second year of FACT’s Fund-a-Farmer Project! Last year grants to nine deserving farmers for projects to improve animal welfare on their farms were awarded. They are aiming even higher this year! All the funds raised at the party will go directly to farmers and their animals. You are invited to join and celebrate!

Where: Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon Avenue, Chicago, Ill. 60660

When: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include a drink and light appetizers. Come bid on unique silent auction items, enter the raffle, nosh on locally sourced bites and listen to live music.

Register today at:

Show looking for all-American farmers

The producer of Dirty Jobs is looking for small to medium sized livestock producers to appear on the show. Adam Kane, the casting producer for Dirty Jobs and American Chopper, is casting a new series for a major cable network that will revolve around and showcase the life and struggles of real, all-American farmers. They are searching for family run farms across the country. Good candidates will be outgoing, fun characters with big personalities! If anyone you know might be interested in this project, please feel free to spread the word around. Adam Kane’s contact information is listed below if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Adam Kane
Associate Casting Producer
Pilgrim Studios

Illinois news

Lack of Information on Livestock Facilities Spells Trouble in Illinois and Beyond”

Huffington Post, Oct. 12, 2012, By Karen Steuer

EPA looking for census of large-scale livestock farms”

Peoria Journal Star, Oct. 2, 2012, By Steve Tarter. Before you can regulate large-scale livestock operations in Illinois, you need to know where they are. That was the message that representatives of several environmental groups brought to a conference call with officials from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois EPA last week in Chicago.? The Illinois EPA’s oversight of confined animal feeding operations, large-scale livestock farms, was found to be inadequate in a 2010 EPA report, a fact that Danielle Diamond, an attorney in DeKalb and project director for the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, said needs to be addressed.

National news

Study links living near livestock with drug-resistant infection: Data from Netherlands suggest risks could be similar in US, Hopkins researchers say”

The Baltimore Sun, Oct. 11, 2012, By Tim Wheeler.

Triumph to expand facility, add jobs”

News Press Now, Oct. 5, 2012, By Jennifer Hall. Triumph Foods is expanding its St. Joseph facility in Missouri. The hog slaughter plant announced it would be constructing a 30,000 square foot addition. The new refrigerated space will be an estimated $9.5 million investment and create 30 new jobs. Construction will begin in the next 30 days and continue into most of 2013.

Pig Farmers face Pressure on Size of the Sty”

New York Times, Oct, 5, 2012, By Stephanie Strom. Iowa farmer says they switched to crates because it was best for the animals. This is an Interesting and informative article which contains even more links about the most recent news of gestation crates in swine production.

Big Pig’s $39 million settlement smells like a bacony victory”

St. Louis Today, Oct. 4, 2012, By the Editorial Board. In late August, Premium Standard Farms LLC, a unit of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc., privately settled a long-running set of lawsuits in Jackson County, Missouri. This particular case involved 13 separate lawsuits and 287 separate plaintiffs, all of whom lived near Premium Standard’s hog plants in northern Missouri. The company has 63 farms that raise sows and nine CAFO plants in seven counties that feed and process the hogs.

That Flawed Stanford Study”

The New York Times Opinion Pages, Oct. 2, 2012, By Mark Bittman. Suspect conclusions derived from suspect studies are increasingly common.

Not Eggsactly Free: ALDF Sues Egg Producers for False Advertising”

Animal Legal Defense Fund, Oct. 1, 2012. Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a false advertising complaint in California state court yesterday against egg producers. Link to press release:


Factory farms threaten public health

According to a recent report produced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bacteria, hormones and antibiotics are contaminating shallow wells near dairy factory farms and feedlots in the Lower Yakima Valley in Washington State. According to the report, a cluster of dairies are leaking between 3,330,000 and 39,600,000 gallons of liquid feces and urine into the underlying soil. In a statement released by the Washington-based Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE), President Helen Reddout stated, “the two-year study confirms what CARE has known since 2003 — that the mega dairies are putting their employees and neighbors at serious risk. The two studies done on low-income residents nearly a decade ago documented the problem. The agencies sworn to protect public health must act immediately to stem this public health threat.”

Full report:

More details on Region 10 EPA activities in the Lower Yakima valley

EPA Region 10 is addressing multiple environmental home health stressors in the Latino and tribal communities in the Yakima Valley. This is an area with a high concentration of low-income residents living in the vicinity of factory farms. A coordinated effort between state, local, and non-profit partners is being used to address the range of exposures found in the community, with a primary focus on reducing exposure through contaminated private well drinking water. This is being accomplished by assessing homes with contaminated wells, providing ‘treatment at the tap’ mitigation, and reducing pollution sources through available regulatory tools and best management practices.

Also see:

Midwest Agricultural Law Guide

This link provides information on agricultural issues including factory farming issues.

Video on fracking conference in Southern Illinois

For more information, contact:

Karen L. Hudson, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project consultant or
Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water
Families Against Rural Messes FARM
Elmwood, Illinois 61529
309-742-8895, 309-208-8841, 309-208-8843

From the Oct. 17-23, 2012, issue

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