Animal feeding operations with out permits are polluting the Lake Erie basin

A concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) like this in Tippecanoe County requires a permit, but not all large farms in the state do.  - PHOTO FILE: Annie Ropeik / IPB News

A concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) like this in Tippecanoe County requires a allow, however not all massive farms within the state do.

PHOTO FILE: Annie Ropeik / IPB Information

A brand new report reveals that enormous disallowed animal farms in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio might trigger a lot of the nutrient air pollution within the Lake Erie Basin. That air pollution can gas poisonous algae blooms in Lake Erie, threatening the ingesting water for no less than 11 million individuals.

If in case you have no less than 300 cows, 600 pigs or 30,000 chickens in Indiana – it’s essential to receive a allow from the state to deal with the manure on the farm.

However the Environmental Working Group report estimates that greater than 60 % of the manure making its manner into the Lake Erie basin comes from animal feeding operations that do not have sufficient livestock to wish a allow. Which means that nobody retains monitor of the place all that muck goes.

“So extra must be completed to watch these disallowed AFOs (animal feeding operations) that are smaller and really produce a lot of the phosphorus of the manure within the basin,” stated Anne Schechinger, Midwest Director of EWG.

Indiana has stricter licensing necessities than Michigan and Ohio. Even so, about 78 % of animal feeding operations within the Indiana a part of the Lake Erie Basin wouldn’t have a allow.

The EWG report says that manure from these farms is normally unfold over close by farmlands, however in locations which have bigger animal farms, the land in all probability cannot maintain all that manure. This may result in elevated runoff which pollutes native waterways.

Schechinger stated states like Indiana can use EWG’s maps to search out growers residing close to these operations.

“Billions of {dollars} are spent on conservation practices within the basin. So this new analysis might actually assist pinpoint agricultural fields, farmers to speak to within the basin the place this funding might have the very best worth for cash, “she stated.

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Schechinger stated conservation practices like no-till may help hold that manure on the land.

Indiana could select to scale back the variety of animals wanted for a allow, however the Indiana Division of Environmental Administration stated lawmakers ought to make that change.

Contact reporter Rebecca at or comply with her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Copyright 2022 IPB Information. To seek out out extra, go to IPB Information.

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