Letter: It’s time to think about environment, contaminants


Letter to the editor:

CAFO’s — do we no longer care about our environment and our health?

Recently, we have had two episodic events of both water and ground contamination at magnum proportions.

Flint, Michigan, pertaining to their water supply. The “watch dog” parties knew about the problem long before (two years) it was actually addressed, some time after an investigative new report brought it to the nation.

Most recently, CNN’s Rosa Flores reported on Sept. 1, 2016, regarding ground and water contamination of lead and arsenic in an area in East Chicago, Indiana. One family had 66 times higher the allowed EPA lead level and 55 times higher the allowed arsenic level.

Some family yards had 227 times lead and 135 times arsenic levels allowed by EPA. Families, especially children and the elderly, have been affected, i.e. cancer, allergies, developmental delays in children are just some of the problems.

We talk about wanting to be good neighbors and providing healthy farming. We all need farmers and I highly respect the hard work that goes into farming. Their work is a 24/7, 365 day job, hoping and praying the weather will work with them.

  • Once farming changes to confined animal growing “farming” and no longer considers the impact on the local communities and the environment.
  • When politicians are swayed by the large lobbyist groups.
  • When we ignore the scientific information as it relates to health care diseases and issues.
  • When the local community residents who live next to the proposed confined feeding operations aren’t allowed access to express their concerns at an open hearing.

Something is wrong.

Are we as a community (Jackson County) going to wait until homeowner wells are contaminated, water levels decreased due to the CAFO operations pulling water into their own well and away from the homeowners, fresh water springs being contaminated due to flooding times of run off from the “cutting” in to the neighboring fields with the hog waste?

Not to mention the extinction of the endangered copperbelly water snake which inhabits local ponds in the area of the proposed CAFO.

For man to continue in this world, we must learn to live in harmony with the environment.

Antibiotic and hormonal enhancements do not create that harmony environment.

Are we not hurting ourselves and the future generations for the sake of money?

How neighbor community-friendly can this be considered?

Do we really want to settle for immediate self-gratification for the money versus the long term effect on our local residents of Jackson County?

Candace Smith


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