January 20, 2011
Sierra Club Statement on Governor Snyder's
Support for Voluntary MAEAP For Agriculture
Governor Snyder’s first State of the State offered many positive sounding initiatives, including an emphasis on building local agricultural and other businesses, and increasing urban investments. However, the Governor’s proposal to emphasize voluntary standards for agriculture raises many questions when it comes to proper control of massive, industrial agricultural operations such as livestock factories. The contention that “frivolous lawsuits” must be averted raises an unsubstantiated claim that there have been numerous such lawsuits against agricultural operations in the state.
In fact, Michigan’s Right to Farm act has barred hundreds if not thousands of rural neighbors of polluting factory farms from protecting their family’s health, their property and their businesses from the destruction caused by air and water pollution. In addition, the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program, or MAEAP, referred to by Governor Snyder, has been found by state and federal environmental agencies as failing to meet requirements for protecting the environment.
We look forward to quick clarification from the Governor as to this plank.