Tag Archives: Earth Day

Save animals and help the planet

Yesterday was Earth Day, and Pasado’s Safe Haven posted an excellent article about how to help animals and the environment.

To the planet, every day is Earth Day. It’s never a bad time to make positive changes. Here’s the info from the Pasado’s post:

Washington dairy farms produce 20 million pounds of waste each day.

This waste isn’t regulated by outside agencies, and it seeps into our groundwater and enters streams directly through runoff. The dairy and meat industries’ disposal and storage methods are incredibly destructive to our environment, dangerous to human health, and damaging to domestic and wild animals.

Animals are treated horrifically on these farms.

Because animals are nothing more than a commodity on dairy and beef farms, they often spend their entire lives standing in several inches of their own waste.

Take action and help Pasado’s save countless lives!

How To Help

Please contact Governor Inslee and ask him to require the Department of Ecology to issue new State Waste Discharge General Permits for factory farms. Call Governor Inslee at 360.902.4111 or copy and paste the following suggested email into the Governor’s contact us form. (To make even more an impact please consider drafting a letter in your own words.)

Dear Governor Inslee,  Please direct the Washington Department of Ecology to issue a strong National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) and State Waste Discharge General Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (“CAFOs”) that do business in the State of Washington.  The current CAFO General Permit was issued in 2006 and expired July 21, 2011. No new permit has been issued. It is imperative that the Department of Ecology issue a permit that contains the following requirements: (1) universal coverage for all medium and large CAFOs; (2) mandatory surface and groundwater monitoring; and (3) implementation of best waste management practices.

I sincerely hope that you take this request seriously and act swiftly. Issuing a new CAFO General Permit will not only bring us into compliance with the law, but in addition it will:

  • Be a small step toward improved conditions for farmed animals who currently spend their entire lives in their own waste.
  • Be a significant step toward improvements in our groundwater and freshwater streams.
  • Be a significant step toward mitigating human health hazards created by the situation as it now stands.

Please act now, Governor Inslee, and help to guide our state to becoming a national leader in environmental and animal welfare policy.

The Problem

Washington Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs / Factory Farms) dispose of animal waste in ways that have devastating effects on our ground water, streams and oceans. The Department of Ecology regulates this practice through a permit system REQUIRED by the federal Clean Water Act and the Washington Water Pollution Control Act. However, the current permit system expired in 2011 and it has serious flaws, including covering only 12 of the 1183 CAFOs in Washington.

The Solution

The Department of Ecology needs to issue a new CAFO permit that contains:

  1. Required coverage for 100% of medium and large CAFOs/Factory Farms.
  2. Mandatory surface and groundwater monitoring.
  3. Implementation of the best waste management practices.

We believe the Department of Ecology is open to this; however they are well aware of the immense power of the animal agriculture industries. They need the influence of a directive from Governor Inslee in order to make this happen.

For more information, please see the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club’s summary of the environmental effects of CAFOs.