Violations/Discharges from CAFOs
4,699 violations, 2000-2015 - this is a conservative list, noting only violations documented by federal and state agencies. Some phrases highlighted by ECCSCM.
Date - Violation Count - Description of Violation
October 2015 - 4,699 - Following a complaint inspection of Medina Dairy CAFO on Oct 12, 2015, DEQ cited the CAFO for applying waste to a field that was "not public noticed prior to the application of material. This is a violation of the facility's permit," which requires that new fields be assessed for appropriate CAFO waste application before any waste is applied.
October 2015 - 4,698 - DEQ cited Hartland Farms CAFO after "multiple fields...received manure application without incorporation," a violation of its CAFO Permit. The DEQ Violation Letter proposes "scheduling a meeting with you to discuss possible changes to farm management practices to ensure that all permit requirements are met."
April 2015 - 4,697 - DEQ inspection on April 21 of New Flevo Dairy CAFO found "a portion of the northern berm on the solid stacking pad that appeared to have blown out over the winter," allowing "semi-solid manure/sand to move north east off of the pad." The CAFO Permit requires weekly inspections of storage structures for "cracking, ...evidence of overflow, leaks, seeps, erosion, slumping..."
March 2015 - 4,692-4,696 - Terrehaven Farms CAFO cited on March 12 for a "discharge of manure laden water to Black Creek." The discharge followed land application of manure to snow-covered ground and subsequent snow melt. Terrehaven was also cited for numerous violations of its CAFO Permit and noncompliance with previous Violation Notices (see January 2015 entry below, and extensive chronicle of Terrehaven violations over 10 years). DEQ ordered Terrehaven to take "immediate action to achieve and maintain compliance" with its CAFO Permit, in areas covering field assessment, production area waste containment, and lagoon standards. Terrehaven must provide a timetable to complete field-by-field assessments for winter application; containment of production area waste by May 1, 2015 ("as first noted in a violation notice from the DEQ dated November 8, 2013"); evaluation of northern solid manure storage structures, "with written certification" that standards are met by Aug 1, 2015.
January 2015 - 4,690-4,691 - Following a complaint about inappropriate winter manure application by Bakerlads CAFO, a DEQ inspection found "discrepancies" in the CAFO's field maps and information on technical standards [MARI scores] that assess the risk of winter application. DEQ ordered Bakerlads to "cease the surface application of CAFO waste to frozen or snow-covered ground until updated MARI scores...are submitted to DEQ."
January 2015 - 4,688-4,689 - DEQ inspection of Bleich Dairy CAFO and review of farm records found that manure "had been applied to a field at a time when the NWS forcast was predicting a very high probability of a rain event in excess of 1/2 inch within 24 hours. Field application of manure when there is a 70 percent chance or grater for rainfall in excess of 1/2 inch within 24 hours is a violation of the CAFO general permit."
January 2015 - 4,686-4,687 - Terrehaven CAFO – 10 years of noncompliance, with lack of production area waste containment, discharges and runoff, lack of evidence that manure lagoons meet standards, and other violations. Production area runoff was first noted by DEQ in Feb 2005 (see entry below). In Jan 2015, Terrehaven is still out of compliance with a DEQ Violation Notice from Nov 2013 ordering containment of production area waste. In a letter Jan 29, 2015, DEQ requires Terrehaven to submit yet another "timetable" for construction of the CAFO waste collection system by May 1, 2015... "To ensure that this issue is addressed in a timely manner." Terrehaven is also still out of compliance with standards for waste storage structures and is required, yet again, to submit "a schedule" for the evaluation of the north storage lagoons by March 1, 2015.
NOTE entries BELOW between double black lines: Under the Freedom of Information Act, some DEQ files from the past are newly available, and show multiple CAFO violations, some over many years. See additions below for Terrehaven CAFO and Bleich CAFO:
Bleich CAFO - Jan 2001- Oct 2004 - 1,129- 2,129 - A multi-year discharge of contaminated stormwater from Bleich CAFO, draining from the feed storage area, barnyard, and grazing area to a tributary of St. Joseph Cr, Bean/Tiffin Watershed, first noticed during a DEQ inspection on Jan 30, 2001. In a DEQ letter dated Oct 8, 2004 - more than 3 years (1,000+ days) later - DEQ reports that although a Notice Letter had been sent Feb 2, 2001 to Bleich Dairy [this letter not in file], requiring actions to stop the discharge, "To date [Oct 8, 2004], acceptable long-term actions have yet to be implemented and contaminated storm water continues to drain through the grazing area, discharging to waters of the state."
October 2014 - 1,124 - 1,127 - DEQ cited New Flevo Dairy (NFD), Forrister Rd, Adrian, for multiple violations after an inspection Oct 27 found an "unlawful discharge of silage leachate to Hazen Creek." The receiving water, in River Raisin Watershed, "contained unnatural color, foam, and microbial growth which is a violation of the NPDES Permit." NFD was cited for a dry weather discharge "through an open 'overflow' pipe leading to a clean water drainage ditch," as well as a direct discharge "due to inappropriate production area management." The discharge was from a pipe that "should have no longer been there." In addition, DEQ notes, "This pipe had recently been covered with waste feed and soil prior to the arrival of WRD [Water Resources Division] staff...it appeared the farm was aware of the discharge prior to WRD staff notifying them of it." DEQ is requiring NFD to remove the overflow pipe, re-grade a ditch, install "a concrete-lined conveyance" to the silage collection area, and complete other production area work. DEQ also informed New Flevo that "Due to the severity of the noncompliance, the matter is being evaluated for escalated enforcement."
September 2014 - 1,123 - DEQ cited Hartland Farms for violation of its CAFO NPDES Permit after stockpiling CAFO waste between Sept 24 and Sept 29 in a field not listed in the facility's CNMP for stockpiling, and not approved prior to use.
June 2014 - 1,117 - 1,122 - DEQ cited New Flevo Dairy (NFD), Forrister Rd, Adrian, for stockpiling CAFO waste without incorporation for 7 days, a violation of the CAFO Permit. Following a complaint about the stockpiling, DEQ inspected NFD on June 27, 2014, and found stockpiles in the field; NFD application records confirmed "stockpiles on the field had been present since June 19." The CAFO Permit requires incorporation of stockpiled waste within 24 hours.
June 2014 - 1,114 - 1,116 - Milk Source's Hudson Dairy cited by DEQ for applying CAFO waste on 4 days on 3 fields not listed in its Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, as required by the CAFO Permit. DEQ notes that "CAFO waste from Hudson Dairy had been applied to fields in Medina Dairy's CNMP without proper manifest documentation on May 23-25, and May 27, 2014." The violation ceased on May 27 when DEQ informed Hudson Dairy of the violation. As Permits are modified and updated with new fields, the fields may not be used "until the permittee has been notified by the MDEQ that processing of the permit modification is complete."
May 2014 - 1,109 - 1,113 - DEQ's CAFO Reconnaissance Inspection of Terrehaven CAFO and land application sites found multiple violations, including stockpiling manure in fields for longer than 24 hrs; stockpiles on one field had been in place from April 21 through the day of inspection, May 7. Other violations of the Permit included not incorporating manure within 24 hrs of application; and not incorporating because of saturated ground (CAFO waste may not be applied on saturated ground). In addition, according to its own CNMP, Terrehaven does not to have six months manure storage, a requirement of all CAFOs. DEQ also noted Terrehaven submitted an "inadequate" plan to divert contaminated production area runoff, a plan required in a November, 2013 Violation Notice. Terrehaven is now required to submit a new plan to divert contaminated runoff and also a plan to divert clean storm water.
March 2014 - 1,107-1,108 - Bakerlads Farm CAFO cited for land application violations of its Permit, including spreading manure on frozen, snow-covered ground on March 1 and March 10 on a field not included in the CAFO's Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP). The field had not been submitted for approval and public notice, as required, and not assessed using the Manure Application Risk Index, required before any application of CAFO waste to frozen or snow-covered ground.
November 2013 - 1,100 - 1,106 - Terrehaven CAFO near Adrian cited for multiple violations of Part 31, Michigan’s Water Resources Protection Act and the CAFO’s NPDES permit at the production area of the facility. A DEQ inspection on Oct 23, 2013 found runoff from the feed storage area and barns flowing into a “temporary holding pond” not included in its CNMP and possibly not certified as required. Contaminated runoff from the production area was flowing "east toward an open field" and "west toward an open field, and eventually to a small pond." The containment wall for the area was incomplete, and "the southern part of the feed storage area remains without a containment wall." Several buildings did not have structures to divert clean stormwater, which "comes into contact with production area waste." Woody vegetation was growing on the berms of the wastewater lagoon. Vegetation on berms is OK, but woody vegetation is not allowed because "it can compromise the integrity of the lagoon liner by root penetration." The Violation Notice cites several Permit violations: following up on a complaint about Terrehaven applying manure in rain, DEQ found no record of weather forecast on file as required; new fields had been added for land application without submitting them for approval; and soil samples were outdated on several fields where manure was applied.
November 2013 - DEQ Water Resources Division files an Administrative Consent Order (ACO) with Terrehaven CAFO, stating the CAFO is in violation of Part 31, Water Resources Protection, of Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, after failing to meet Nov 30, 2012 and Feb 1, 2013 deadlines for verification that its waste storage structures comply with required standards. The ACO includes stipulated penalties of $4,000, and requires an engineering review by Dec 1, 2013.
January 2013 - 1,099 - Terrehaven CAFO near Adrian cited on Jan 18 for failure to submit verification that waste storage structures complied with engineering standards.
May 2012 - 1,098 - Southern Michigan Dairies was cited for a discharge on May 3 to a drainage ditch leading to a tributary of Bean Creek at Acker Hwy and Medina Rd. The cause of the discharge was "land application of waste too close to a conveyance right next to the tributary." When DEQ arrived, SMD had "blocked the tributary with a dam and dub a collection hole to pump the waste out."
May 2012 - 1,095 - 1,097 - Southern Michigan Dairies cited for discharges of liquid manure to surface waters during liquid manure application during three days on fields east of the SMD 2 facility on US-127. On April 30, liquid manure was "leaking into a tile line and into a ditch along Donnelly Rd, leading to a tributary of Fisher Lake. On May 1, a call to the PEAS hotline of another dischargea in the same area, this time a dragline rupture, with liquid manure flowing to a tile intake, and on May 2, DEQ staff "found that waste had indeed made it through the tile line and had discharged to the head of a tributary to Fisher Lake." In this same April 30 - May 2 period, after reports of scum on Toad Creek, SMD reported application rates of 18,000 gal/acre to DEQ, who told them to "cut that in half."
January 2012 - 1,094 - Southern Michigan Dairies fined $24,500 for violating its deadline for closure of the failed concrete manure lagoon at SMD 1. The lagoon was properly closed on Dec 27, 2011, 56 days past the deadline. The fine must be paid within 30 days of receipt of the DEQ Letter.
August 2011 - 1,093 - Manure discharge to North Medina Drain, a tributary of Bean Creek, after a pipe break in manure spray-irrigation system at Southern Michigan Dairies 1, Dillon Hwy. A DEQ email to ECCSCM on 8/15/11 states: "Friday afternoon [Aug 12] there was a break at the pivot of the irrigation sprayer in the corn field west of Ingall Hwy. An unknown amount of liquid reached the beginning of the N Medina Drain. They immediately dammed up the drain at three separate points downstream, including at the field, downstream of Ingall Hwy and at the farthest point where any of the liquid reached downstream of Ingall. They called us late Fri morning and we were down there to observe that afternoon. They contained and pumped liquid throughout Friday and Saturday and either applied the liquid to approved fields or placed it back in lagoons. By Saturday night most of the work was done. Sunday they did some final flushing of the drain using clean water with contracted trucks from Leas Farms. The trucks were triple rinsed and filled with clean water for the flushing. Downstream of the flushing the water was again pumped out and field applied. Once the flushing was complete we approved the removal of the temporary dams and all is complete to our satisfaction at this point."
July 2011 - 1,090- 1,092- Bruinsma Dairy CAFO, Morenci, was cited for violating Michigan Water Resources Part 31, Michigan's Water Resources Protection of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, for violating Administrative Rules of that Act, and for violating the CAFO's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. The violations have been ongoing since 2010, when Bruinsma submitted a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) with its practices to protect water quality in connection with a reapplication for the NPDES permit. DEQ found "numerous deficiencies" in the CNMP and required Bruinsma to resubmit a CNMP by Dec 31, 2010. Bruinsma informed DEQ on Dec 6, 2010 it would submit the CNMP by June 1, 2011. No CNMP was ever submitted. After this prolonged period of violation, DEQ now requires Bruinsma to submit a CNMP by Aug 12, 2012.
March 2011 - DEQ and Michigan Attorney General's Office files an Administrative Consent Order with Southern Michigan Dairies, the subsidiary of Rabo Agrifinance which took over the 3 Vreba-Hoff CAFOs in November, 2010. The ACO requires SMD to pay $100,000 as partial payment of Vreba-Hoff fines owed, requires SMD to empty and close the satellite lagoon on Packard Rd by Sept. 30, 2011, as well as close the failed concrete lagoon at SMD 1 (formerly V-H 1). The ACO also requires notification if any potential buyer is "involved with Wilhemus van Bakel personally or any of his business entities, including but not limited to: Vreba-Hoff Dairy, LLC; Vreba-Hoff Holding, LLC; Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development; the Van Bakel Group, or Nova Lait, LLC. The DEQ reserves the right to leave whole the Judgment Liens...should SMD transfer Dairies I, II, or III ...to a van Bakel or Vreba-Hoff affiliated entity." See the full ACO document.
July 2010 - 1089 - Following complaints from neighbors about emissions, Hartland Farms was cited by the Michigan Department of Agriculture for nonconformance with GAAMPs (Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices) for spraying liquid manure on the 4th of July weekend. GAAMPs state that "farms should avoid spreading manure on weekend/holidays to reduce complaints of odors."
June 2010 - 1086-1088 - Vreba-Hoff cited for violations of the Interim Order and permit, including continued use of the waste storage stucture on Packard Road, "which was required to be close"; no required update of crop changes or revised application rates; and irrigating liquid waste that had failed to achieve treatment limits standards. DNRE noted, "The violation(s) identified in this Violation Notice are continuing."
May 2010 - 1084, 1085 - Hoffland Farms cited for manure discharges at several locations, following draglining of liquid manure. DNRE staff noticed manure runoff flowing across Tomer Road at two locations, with contaminated flow entering "various field tiles and catch basins that discharge into Rice Lake, Bear Creek, and the South Branch River Raisin." E. coli counts were as high as 15,000/100 mL, Suspended Solids 1600 mg/L (4 is the Reporting Limit), Dissolved Solids 900 mg/L (20 is the Reporting Limit), Copper 390 ug/L (1 is the Reporting Limit).
March 2010 - 1083 - Bakerlads Farm cited for manure discharge to a tributary of the South Branch of the River Raisin following land application of liquid manure. DNRE (formerly DEQ) notes, "The samples collected during the inspection indicate that the runoff water was severely contaminated and resulted in violations of water quality standards downstream." Because of this discharge, Bakerlads Farm is required to apply for an NPDES CAFO permit.
December 2009 - 374-1082 - Michigan files another lawsuit against Vreba-Hoff, noting Vreba-Hoff "has flagrantly violated the terms of the permit in violation of state law and based upon a July 23, 2009 correspondence from its agent, intends to continue doing so into the future." The Complaint cites 128 days of violation in 2008-2009 including "707 instances where Vreba-Hoff irrigated waste at concetrations more than two times the amount allowed." In addition, the Complaint notes that "the continued irrigation of effluent...may adversely affect groundwater quality by contributing to nitrate concentrations and mobilizing certain metals from soils into groundwater." The Complaint also cites Vreba-Hoff for "unacceptably high levels of copper in waste effluent." Since April 2009, the Complaint notes, Vreba-Hoff's "EarthMentor systems have not been maintained by a properly certified operator." The suit requests an injunction prohibiting land application of waste until "treatment standards in the permit have been met without relying upon dilution of the waste with less polluted water," and requests a fine of "not less than $2,500 and up to $25,000 for each instance of violation and for each day of continued violation."
August 2009 - 373 - Chesterfield Dairy discharges manure to Niles Ditch, a tributary of the River Raisin, Fairfield Twp, Michigan, after spray-application of a field over many days. DEQ orders field tile blocked, Niles Ditch pumped.
August 2009 - 372 - Vreba-Hoff 1 discharges manure to Medina Drain, a tributary of Bean Creek already listed as impaired in 2004 after mutliple manure discharges from Vreba-Hoff. DEQ orders pumping of the stream.
July 2009 - 371 - Chesterfield Dairy manure discharge leads to major fish kill in Little Bear Creek (Fulton Co, OH), a tributary of the River Raisin. More than 8,000 aquatic animals killed, including approx. 1200 large fish as well as thousands of minnows and freshwater mussels. OhioEPA orders pumping of the stream.
March 2009 - 370 - Chesterfield Dairy cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for selling an adulterated animal for slaughter as food. FDA tissue tests found high residues of flunixin. An FDA inspection of the CAFO on March 3, 4, and 5 found the facility held "animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply." The FDA also cited the dairy's "false guaranty" of unadulterated animals, and stated that "you routinely administer [Flunixin Meglumine] Injectable Solution to dairy cows without following the dosage as stated in the approved labeling," and without supervision of a veterinarian, as required.
March 2009 - 367-369 - DEQ cites multiple violations of Interim Order at Vreba-Hoff 1, including leachate and feed-contaminated snow outside the bunker “where it would melt and flow into the clean storm water system”; discharge of leachate from the compost pad "due to same mismanagement as observed in August of 2007." In additiion, Vreba-Hoff is not composting solids as required, “but simply piling them up.”
Feb 2009 - 366 - DEQ inspection at Vreba-Hoff 1 finds ripped copper sulfate bags stored outside, with “a substantial amount of blue staining all around the pallet after the recent snow melt.” Violation of Part 5 Rules, Spillage of Oil and Polluting Materials.
November 2008 - 355-365 - Mediator recommends Vreba-Hoff fines of $223,500 for multiple violations of the 30th Circuit Court's Interim Order. The Dispute Resolution Facilitator (DRF) established by the Interim Order notes that Vreba-Hoff was required to construct a partial-treatment system for animal wastes, and pay $180,000 in penalties for previous violations when the "Defendant [Vreba-Hoff] presents an engineer's certification that the Earth Mentor System is operating as designed...Defendant has not presented the certification." Total fines are now $403,500. The DRF Report cites at least 10 violations, some continuing for many days, including: overflow of a manure pit (Sept. 7, 2007), discharging to Medina Drain; 3 other illegal discharges to streams; failure to remove cows as required when waste storage was insufficient; lack of freeboard marking; missed deadlines for construction of the treatment building and sand separation devices; missed deadline for operation of treatment cells at both Vreba-Hoff 1 and 2 facilities in Hudson.
September 2008 - Vreba-Hoff petitions for a Contested Case Hearing on its permit. Separately, in its September monthly report to DEQ, required by the Consent Order, Vreba-Hoff acknowledges it "has continued the irrigation of final state effluent water, even though the levels are not to standards."
July 2008 -355 - Agri-Flite Services, a crop dusting company, violates Michigan and federal pesticide laws on July 30 when spraying Headline Fungicide on Hartland Farms cornfield. Nearby residents became ill, and subsequent testing found the active ingredient of Headline, pyraclostrobin, on the residents' property and crop fields. The Michigan Dept of Agriculture "has initiated the appropriate enforcement action with Agri-Flite Services."
July 2008 - 347-354 - Vreba-Hoff cited for discharging sediment-laden water through a hose (de-watering a stormwater pond under construction), which discharged into a gate valve and tile line leading to South Medina Drain. DEQ notes that Vreba-Hoff made no effort to control the sediment flow. Aerial photos show dewatering taking place on July 10. DEQ letter states, "it seems that dewatering, and therefore sediment discharge to the South Medina Drain, had been occurring for many days prior to WB [Water Bureau] staff discovering the incident on July 16th."
July 2008 - After multiple air quality violations over 3 years, State Line Farms in Morenci will shut down its swine barns at Ridgeville Rd, removing all animals by Nov. 9, and pay $28,000 in fines, under a Consent Order negotiated with Michigan's DEQ.
May 2008 - 343-346 - Vreba-Hoff ordered not to spray-irrigate "treated" animal wastewater. Water tests by DEQ and Vreba-Hoff show the EarthMentor system "does not meet the treatment standards provided in the Interim Order...Based on the split samples, the waste in the irrigation cell at Vreba-Hoff Dairy II exceeds the standards by two to three times." DEQ letter also cites storm water pollution prevention actions not taken -- since 2007.
May 2008 - 324-342 - Terrehaven Farms, Adrian, cited for many violations in numerous areas -- inadequate silage leachate containment, storm water contamination, manure pad runoff, improper composting of dead animals.
May 2008 - 323 - State Line Farms cited for "unreasonable odors," air quality violations from swine barns at Ridgeville Rd.
April 2008 - 322 - Hartland Farms self-reports a dischrge of manure from a field tile after land application in a field draining to Bear Creek.
March 2008 - 316-321 - Hartland Farms cited for multiple violations of its Consent Decree, NPDES permit, and illegal discharge of manure to Bear Creek after application of manure on frozen, snow-covered ground. DEQ staff noted that "manure-contaminated runoff was flowing off the site and into the roadside ditch, then south to Bear Creek." Portions of the field did not meet specifications for winter application. Waste storage structures were full; Hartland Farms stated they "had no choice but to land apply manure."
March 2008 - 315 - Bakerlads Farms cited for illegal discharge of agricultural waste to South Branch of the River Raisin, after application of manure on frozen, snow-covered ground. DEQ notes "the runoff was brown in color, had a distinct manure odor, and manure solids were observed floating on the water."
February 2008 - 307-314 - DEQ cites Waldron Dairy (Vreba-Hoff owned) for 8 violations of its General Permit and 2003 Consent Decree, including 2 illegal discharges of manure wastewater to Bean Creek Watershed after application to frozen, snow-covered ground.
January 2008 - 301-306 - DEQ cites Waldron Dairy for multiple violations of its Consent Decree, including 6 unlawful discharges from the facility: discharges of silage leachate; discharge to Oates Drain of contaminated storm water from sand bedding piles; discharge of animal manure pooled next to a catch basin draining to Oates Drain; sediment discharge at several point to the storm water system leading to Oates Drain.
January 2008 - 300 -DEQ warns Vreba-Hoff about illegality
of discharging contaminated storm water, impounded at the US-127 facility.
DEQ also orders Vreba-Hoff "to cease the discharge
immediately," from a tile at South Medina Drain, first cited as illegally
discharging in October 2007.
December 2007 - 296-299 - Vreba-Hoff fined $8,000
for dam safety violations under a Consent Agreement with DEQ's
Land and Water Management Division, after construction of four waste lagoons/dams
at the dairy facilities.
November 2007 - 295 - DEQ details violations in Vreba-Hoff Monthly Progress Reports, including "a clear and flagrant
violation of the 'truck' provisions of the Interim Order."
DEQ notes that Vreba-Hoff's "agreement to truck excess waste in lieu
of cow removal is an important component of the Interim Order," and
"Vreba-Hoff's failure to truck waste throughout the month of September"
was not addressed as required.
October 2007 - 294 - Vreba-Hoff cited for illegal
discharge (apparently long-term and on-going) into South Medina Drain.
DEQ samples show high levels of nitrate and E. coli in effluent
from a tile coming "directly from the facility production area"
and located on the south side of the headwaters of this Bean Creek tributary.
This tile was not dye-tested as required by the 2004 Consent Judgment.
Vreba-Hoff has until Dec. 28, 2007 to complete dye-testing.
October 2007 - 286-293 - DEQ cites Vreba-Hoff for numerous violations of its Interim Consent Order, including land application
of wastes to fields without sufficient phosphorus data; land application
of contaminated sand bedding, bypassing sand separation requirement; improper
composting -- "the current practice of simply piling solids
and later land applying certainly does not meet the industry standards
for composting"; removal of check dams, failure of silt fencing,
expired construction storm water permit; failure to transport off-site
the waste of "excess" cows at the dairy operations.
September 2007 - 285 - Vreba-Hoff manure lagoon overflows at Vreba-Hoff 1, discharges manure into South Medina Drain on Sept 9. DEQ water tests find E. coli levels at 370,000/100ml in the headwaters of South Medina Drain; 2 days later, E. coli is still greater than 10,000/100 ml. On Sept 10, DEQ finds concrete lagoon still over freeboard; DEQ orders Vreba-Hoff "to take actions to prevent further discharges from this structure." DEQ finds the CAFO is "1,687,000 gal. over freeboard capacity in their storage structures." DEQ also notes, "They have not removed cows from the facility as required by the CO [Consent Order] if they go over freeboard."
August 2007 - 281-284 - Vreba-Hoff cited for
multiple discharges on August 28, including sediment discharge
to South Medina Drain, multiple deficient freeboard markers, discharge
of sand solids and feed waste to Durfee Creek Extension during recent
rain, failure to meet required deadlines for manure processing, failure
to meet required deadlines for sand separation devices.
August 2007 - 279, 280 - DEQ notes "a grave situation"
at Vreba-Hoff facilities: "The situation at Vreba-Hoff's
two Hudson-area dairies appears to have deteriorated substantially this
week." DEQ cites the failure of a concrete storage structure at V-H 1 on Wed., August 23. One concrete wall had cracked and leaned
in, allowing manure to leak to an open trench, a discharge to
groundwater. In addition, "nearly all of the storage structures
currently in use at both dairy operations are at or exceeding freeboard
requirements." In response, Vreba-Hoff illegally discharged
wastewater into the newly-constructed EarthMentor treatment cell.
August 2007 - 271 - State Line Farms cited for violation of air quality law, "unreasonable odors."
July 2007 - 269, 270 - Vreba-Hoff cited
for discharges on July 28 to South Medina Drain after failure of silt
fencing at construction site of new treatment lagoon. DEQ inspection report
also notes a manure transfer structure was overflowing into a storm sewer
emptying into South Medina Drain, and bedding, feed, and other waste piled
along the drain and down the embankment.
May 2007 - 268 - State Line Farms cited for "unreasonable odors" and air emission violations.
April 2007 - 246 - 267 - State Line Farms cited for mutliple air pollution violations during the period Aug 1, 2006
through April 11, 2007, when "distinct, definite, and often
objectionable odors were detected" during investigations of 21 air
pollution complaints. The emissions were found to be "of sufficient
intensity and duration as to constitute a violation of Rule 901,"
which states in part: "A person shall not cause or permit the emission
of an air contaminant in quantities that cause injurious effect to human
health...or unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of
life and property." State Line also cited
for noncompliance with its own plan to install a water atomizing spray
on all tunnel exhaust fans by Feb. 9, 2007. One spray was installed
on April 11, 2007, more than 2 months late; State Line
consultant told DEQ others would be installed "within a few days."
April 2007 - 241 - 245 - Vreba-Hoff cited for multiple
violations, some occuring over several days, inlcuding discharge of waste
to Durfee Creek after pivot-irrigation of liquid manure. The stream "was
very dark in color and had a strong agricultural waste odor...Several
areas of obvious overland flow and erosion from the irrigated field to
the creek were noted. Very little to no vegetated buffer exists
along the creek." DEQ noted the pivot irrigator "travels through
a low wet area where irrigation of waste easily flows into the creek."
Leachate continues to discahrge through berms at feed bunker. At another
location, South Medina Drain, DEQ discovers unauthorized berms in the
stream and is informed of a manure discharge through field tiles last fall (2006). Vreba-Hoff had cited for failure to
report this discharge. In addition, the illegal berms had been
opened up, allowing large amounts of sediment to discharge and
flow downstream, also a violation of Michigan law. DEQ also noted manure
haulers loading untreated manure and applying it to fields west of Hudson
-- application of untreated waste is prohibited under the Consent Judgment.
Vreba-Hoff ordered to:
March 2007 - 239, 240 - Vreba-Hoff cited again for violations,
including unlawful discharge of leachate from the feed bunker to a grassy
area designed to transport only clean water, and violation of freeboard
requirements of leachate storage structure. Vreba-Hoff ordered to berm
feed bunker area to stop discharge.
March 2007 - 237-238- Vreba-Hoff cited for an unlawful
dry weather discharge on March 14, with contaminated stormwater and leachate
overflowing on east side (again) at Dillon Hwy facility to wetlands to
Durfee Creek. Freeboard violation noted on March 15.
February-March 2007 - 224-236 - Vreba-Hoff cited for
at least 13 violations on Feb 26, March 1, March 5, and
March 7, including 4 unlawful discharges, 3 at the Dillon
Hwy facility: overflow of leachate "caused by someone pushing
out the bermed area to the east of the bunker so that leachate could flow
out"; overflow of leachate to the south
to wetlands connecting to Durfee Creek; and "careless transfer
of waste to the satellite storage" on Packard Rd causing
a spill discharging to wetlands connecting to Bean Creek. The fuel tank
at that location had no secondary storage and spilled fuel was noted during
inspection. At the US-127 facility, a leachate structure was flooding
into the feed bunker area which was overflowing into the stormwater conveyance.
"It appeared that no abatement of this discharge had been attempted."
January 2007 - 223 - Vreba-Hoff cited for Jan. 10 unlawful
discharge of waste to Durfee Creek, after spray-irrigation to fields.
December, 2006 - 221 - Vreba-Hoff storage lagoons over capacity, the
North Concrete lagoon at Vreba-Hoff 2 "clearly exceeds the operational
November 2006 - 200-220 - Vreba-Hoff cited for substantial
violations in letters from both DEQ and the Michigan Attorney
General. DEQ cites the unlawful discharge of wastewater
to Covell Drain, a tributary of Bean Creek, after field application on
Nov. 25, a discharge with significant odor and "unnatural turbidity,
color, floating solids, suspended solids and deposits." E. coli tests reached more than 6 times the MI water standard. The Attorney General
notes "your management of the CAFO waste generated at your two dairies...has
deteriorated substantially over the last several months"
and cites "numerous violations at both of your farms...the
apparent failures of the Press Treatment System and resulting accumulation
of excessive amounts of CAFO waste, treated and untreated, in various
storage structures." The letter includes a list of documented violations,
more than a dozen in 6 areas --
November 2006 - 196-199- Hartland Farms cited for Nov.
25 discharge of manure through field tiles "to an unnamed tributary
to the River Raisin." Water samples showed "obvious signs of
manure contamintation" including mutliple water quality violations:
suspended solids, strong manure odor, and dark coloration, as well as
"floating solids and foam." DEQ water tests found E. coli counts as high as 130,000/100ml.
November 2006 - 186-195 - Mericam cited for "unlawful
discharge of manure, sediment, wastewater, and contaminated stormwater"
on Nov 7 to Oats Drain and Toad Creek. Investigatin found numerous other
violations of both Michigan law and the Consent Decree -- buffers not
maintained, no notification of discharge, inadequate management practices,
odor in discharge, E. coli in discharge reaching "significantly
higher numbers than the limit" (DEQ sample in Oats Drain: E.
October 2006 - DEQ cites repeated failures of Vreba-Hoff's
Enhanced Waste Treatment System. The system was "not in operation"
during numerous inspections, and DEQ notes "...based on your estimate
of production, you should be running the system no less than 12 hours
a day, 364 days a year in order to treat all manure currently being produced
September 2006 -185- DEQ investigation of Hartland Farms finds land application on fields prohibited in last known Comphrehensive
Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP), and further finds CNMP update required
by October 2005 (almost a year ago) still had not been
submitted. DEQ letter asks Hartland Farms to submit CNMP.
August 2006 -184 -DEQ inspection of Hartland Farms find no current copy of Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) available -- a requirement of their NPDES permit; also finds recordkeeping did not include, as required, weekly waste storage structure inspections, manifests recording manure sold or given away.
August - 157-183 - State Line Farms cited in Second
Letter of Violation from DEQ for numerous, repeated air violations from
Dec 28, 2005 and continuing throughout 2006: Jan 3, 11, and 16; Feb 16
and 24; March 18; April 6, 17, 18, 19, 20, 28, 29, 30; May 1, 2, 8, and
10; June 2, 10, and 14; and July 12, 13, 14, 18, and 19.
August 2006 - 156 - Vreba-Hoff cited by U.S.
Food and Drug Administration for numerous food safety and animal/drug
violations: An FDA investigation at Vreba-Hoff on Dillon Hwy "found
that you hold animals under conditions that are so inadequate
that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely
to enter the food supply." Vreba-Hoff was cited for offering "an animal for sale for slaughter as food
that was adulterated" with penicillin. Violations
were discovered in tests by the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. Previous
tests found oxytetracycline in cow tissues. "In
regard to this oxytetracycline residue, our investigator noted that you
administered an approved animal drug via a route, intrauterine, which
was not indicated in the labeling, without benefit of a valid veterinarian-client-patient
relationship and that you failed to maintain adequate treatment records."
March 2006 - 155
- Mericam cited for contaminated discharge following
application of liquid manure before rainfall. DEQ water samples March
10 showed "an elevated level of E. coli bacteria, ammonia,
and nitrate, indicative of livestock manures." The letter notes
"your current practices do not meet the standards of your draft permit.
Other concerns cited include "a lack of storage capacity for manure
and waste," and need for an updated Comprehensive Nutrient Management
November 2005 - 154 - DEQ inspection of Bleich
Dairy finds "manure accumulations" outside a storage
structure, no containment for contaminated drainage from calf hutches.
July - November, 2005 - 145-153 - following investigation of numerous
air quality complaints over several months, DEQ cites State Line
Farms for violation of the federal Clean Air Act and Michigan
air pollution law (Rule 901 - "A person shall not cause or permit
the emission of an air contaminant in quantities that cause injurious
effect to human health, property, or the unreasonable interference with
the comfortable enjoyment of life and property"). 9 inspections
between July and November found "strong" or "very strong"
odors, burning sensation in the nose, "objectionable hog waste odors,"
etc. State Line must report by Jan 6, 2006 on the causes
of the violations and on remedial action taken to prevent reoccurence
July, 2005 - MDA finds State Line Farms "does not conform to the Site Selection GAAMPs" (does not meet setback requirements - too close to residences) and rejects the facility's Odor Management Plan. MDA refers State Line to DEQ for evaluation and enforcement of complaints.
June, 2005 - 144 - Vreba-Hoff discharges black manure
water to South Medina Drain through field tiles after pivot irrigation
of liquid manure on growing corn. Dissolved Oxygen tested at 0.5 mg/L,
well below fish-kill levels. DEQ water samples found E. coli as high as 45,000/100ml.
April, 2005 - 143 - Bleich Dairy cited for overdue Comprehensive
Nutrient Management Plan.
February, 2005 - 142 - Bakerlads Farms is cited for
manure discharge to Dowling County Drain leading to South Branch of the
River Raisin, following application to frozen ground. DEQ reports "manure
laden runoff water" that was "severely contaminated."
February, 2005 - 140,141- Stoutcrest is cited for
runoff of liquid manure at multiple sites draining to Hazen Creek, River
Raisin Watershed. DEQ water tests find E. coli levels as high
February, 2005 - DEQ disapproves Vreba-Hoff's draft
plan for wastewater treatment, saying it falls "far short" of
what is required under the 2004 Consent Order. DEQ cites numerous insufficiencies,
including no seal by a professional engineer, no phosphorous treatment
as required, no transfer system description, no sand-separation component,
no piping or control details, no description of how untreated waste will
be applied, inadequate sampling parameters and plan, no quality assurance
January, 2005 - 138,139 - Mericam is cited for multiple
discharges, including runoff "severely contaminated with agriculture
waste" flowing to Oates Drain, and runoff from an uncovered compost
pile containing "numerous animal carcasses" also draining to
Oates Drain. DEQ water samples finds E. coli counts as high
as 160,000/100ml. Pursuant to a previous Consent Order, Mericam is charged $6,000 in stipulated penalties for these 2005 discharges,
and also ordered to pay the $8,750 in stipulated penalties as
yet unpaid from 2004.
December, 2004 - 137 - DEQ cites Hartland Farms for
discharge through field tiles to Henning Drain, after field application
of liquid manure and dragline failure leading to manure spill over tile.
Stipulated penalty of $2,500 levied as required by Consent Decree.
December, 2004 - 135 - Marvin Farms is cited for barnyard
runoff to Shaw Drain in the River Raisin Watershed. DEQ water samples
find E. coli counts as high as 600,000/100ml. An NRCS-designed
grassed filter and catch-basin enable runoff from barnyard and bunker
November, 2004 - 135 - Vander Hoff Haley Dairy is cited
for a discharge to Rice Lake Drain on Nov. 28. The DEQ letter discusses
a "control structure" placed in the tile leading to Rice Lake
Drain. DEQ "is particularly concerned about the potential discharge
of pollutants once the control structure is opened, as any remaining liquid
in the tile would discharge to Rice Lake Drain."
November, December, 2004 - 133,134 - New Flevo cited
for tile discharging brown water with "manure odor" to a tributary
of Wallace Creek on both Nov. 28 and Dec 20, 2004. DEQ water samples find E. coli counts as high as 56,000/100ml in the tributary. In addition,
the letter notes that "all of the concerns in our June 18, 2003 [1
1/2 yrs ago], letter remain."
October, 2004 -131,132 - DEQ District Compliance Agreement (DCA) with Bleich
Dairy, Hudson, orders a certified Comprehensive Nutrient Management
Plan (CNMP), long-term corrections "to address contaminated
storm water runoff from barnyard and feed lots," as well
as contaminated runoff from the silage/feed storage area. Corrections had not been made since previous Notice Letters.
September, 2004 - Site inspection of Vreba-Hoff facility
by Tetra Tech MPS finds waste located in grassed areas between barns,
on the pavement, in the calf holding area, and from equipment. "Bacteria
are most likely available in standing water found around the site due
to storm water contamination." The report concludes that a
rainfall event could carry "storm water contaminated with waste materials to the outfall located at Meridian Road, where the MDEQ has previously
indentified high levels of E-coli."
July, August, 2004 - 129,130 - Vander Hoff Haley Dairy cited for multiple manure discharges to Bovee County Drain at Whaley Rd.
Water with "strong manure odor" was discharging on July 31 after
field application of liquid manure. During follow-up inspection on Aug.
4, DEQ found contaminated brown water was again discharging
to Bovee Drain.
July, 2004 - 128 - Region 5 EPA inspection on July 15, 2004, at New
Flevo finds the banks of a new lagoon "deeply eroded."
Inspection notes that silage runoff and possible stormwater discharges
"to the unnamed tributary to Wallace Drain."
July, 2004 - 127 - DEQ District Compliance Agreement (DCA) with Bruinsma
Dairy, Morenci, orders "long-term corrections to address contaminated storm water runoff from the feed storage area."
July, 2004 - 125,126 - EPA Region 5 inspections at Vreba-Hoff on July 13, 2004, find multiple pollution concerns, including contaminated
runoff from calf hutches, and "apparent seeps in the new silage runoff
storage pit...there is either a very high water table, which can impact
the integrity of the liner, or the structure may be leaking, or both."
July, 2004 - 124 - State Line Farms, Morenci, cited
by MDA Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division for sending workers
into fields treated with Amistar Fungicide and Champ Dry Prill "prior
to the termination of the 48 hour restricted entry interval (REI)."
MDA claims it "has initiated the appropriate enforcement action in
July, 2004 - 123 - Vreba-Hoff cited for manure discharge
from field tile to Siegel Drain at Tamrack & Tuttle Rds, St. Joseph
River watershed. E. coli counts in the Tamarack/Tuttle
tile reached 110,000/100 ml.
June, 2004 - 119 -Michigan Dept. of Agriculture is asked to inspect Vreba-Hoff after officials find blood, flies, and "fluids...exposed to the surface"
from buried dead animals. MDA inspection on June 11 finds "blood-tinged"
water pooled in low spots, and "parts of some bones were
visible on the surface."
April, May, 2004 - 113-118 - Vreba-Hoff cited for multiple violations following DEQ inspections to evaluate water
quality impacts from liquid manure applications. Field tiles were
found discharging manure water into both the Bean Creek Watershed and
the St. Joseph River Watershed, including May 2 discharge to Siegel Drain
(after liquid manure application along Lickley Rd), and May 10 discharges
to the tributary to Fisher Lake (Donelly Rd) and again to Siegel Drain
(Tamarack Rd). DEQ also found Vreba-Hoff was discharging contaminated
stormwater from the facility retention basin to a tributary of
Fisher Lake (US-127) on April 21, May 11, and May 21. The Vreba-Hoff
stormwater basin is designed for uncontaminated rainwater only.
DEQ notes, "Numerous water samples collected from the storm water
discharge channel over the past four months have revealed
high concentrations of pathogens and nutrients indicative of a direct
discharge of polluting materials."
March, 2004 - 112 - DEQ describes dark brown manure water and foam discharging
from a field tile to Lime Lake Inlet in Bean Creek Watershed after land
application of hog waste from William White Farms.
March, 2004 -102-111- DEQ cites Vreba-Hoff on Dillon Hwy for multiple manure discharges on multiple days, and a diesel
fuel spill. On March 1, 2, and 5, DEQ found discharges from numerous locations
in a field where "several inches of manure and waste feed" had
been spread, with manure laden runoff draining to adjacent woodlots, and
through a channel to a wooded wetland draining to Durfee Creek. "The
channel was receiving both surface and sub-surface tile flow from the
field." On March 1, diesel fuel was observed discharging from
a field tile into Medina Drain (fuel overflowed booms for 3 weeks before
the drain was dammed to contain fuel).
March, 2004 - DEQ Enforcement Unit warns Vreba-Hoff and Mericam Farms that the storage structures at the
CAFOs "have very little capacity remaining, and therefore, could
overflow should weather conditions prevent land application of wastes
this spring." DEQ requires both CAFOs to submit weekly
reports detailing waste storage capacity and land application
activities, through June, 2004.
February, March 2004 - 6-88 - Vreba Hoff on US-127 cited for multiple violations
on numerous days, including discharges of liquid manure through field
tile to a tributary of Fisher Lake on Feb. 20, discharge of agricultural
waste through stormwater impoundment on Feb. 20 and March 4, also draining
to Fisher Lake; and discharging manure-laden water to Lime Lake Inlet
East on Feb. 21, 25, March 4, 5, 15, 25. On March 1, 2, 5, and 15,
manure runoff from field application was discharging from a field on Elm
Rd to Lime Lake Inlet.
February, 2004 -75 - Hardy Dairy discharges milkhouse
wastewater through tile to Evans Creek.
December, 2003 - 70-74 - liquid manure discharges confirmed
"at numerous locations" from Vreba-Hoff field
applications during the Christmas holiday. DEQ inspections Dec. 23 and
Dec. 30 found "manure laden water was discharging through field tile
as well as across the surface of the ground" to Lime Lime Inlet.
December, 2003 - 69 - Ries Dairy manure discharges through
tile to county drain; manure storage above the recommended freeboard level.
December, 2003 - 68 - VanderHoff Haley Dairy manure pit overflows, drains into a catch-basin at the facility
and through tile into Rice Lake Drain in River Raisin Watershed. DEQ water
samples in Rice Lake Drain at Haley Road found E. coli bacteria
counts as high as 104,000/100ml.
August, 2000 - 6—Warner Farms,
Tipton, cited for discharging manure and whey, a "liquid industrial
waste" into Rexford Drain in the River Raisin Watershed. DEQ also
cited Michigan Dairy, Livonia, and Southwest
Whey, Clovis, New Mexico, for illegally transporting and illegally
disposing of whey at Warner Farms.