Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 18, 2018

Can’t open windows living near CAFO

By Bhavani Mair | Aug 23, 2018

To the editor:

I am concerned about the future of Jefferson County.

Bill Huber, a businessman from Washington, has proposed building a 7,497-head hog confinement 2.5 miles west of Pleasant Plain. Mark Greiner, who lives off Pleasant Plain Road near Perlee, has applied to increase his confined animal feeding operation to 5,000 hogs.

If we do not do something now to stop the increasing number of CAFOs, our wonderful county will end up being proliferated by CAFOs like Washington County. And the quality of life for many will be greatly compromised.

I know first-hand what it is like living near a CAFO. We live three-quarters of a mile from the CAFO that was shut down. Though the farmer who owned the CAFO tried to lessen its impact on neighbors, the quality of life we all take for granted was gone.

We went from being comfortable in our home and environment to being very uncomfortable. We couldn’t open our windows because of the smell. We had to drop what we were doing and immediately go inside when the wind shifted, bringing the stench of pig manure.

Our health was affected – for me, it was skin and respiratory. The value of our property went down – who wants to live near a CAFO? The fly population increased dramatically with CAFO flies that live in stagnant manure and carry disease. When the manure was spread on the land the stench was unbearable for days. There is a big cost to the environment as well – water, air, and wildlife.

We lived near a 1,250-head CAFO with a conscientious owner, not the 5,000 and 7,497 CAFOs being proposed. The problems we experienced will be magnified greatly, and far more people will be affected by these proposed CAFOs.

I have often wondered why many people have to suffer so one person can profit. For everyone who lives within the range of a CAFO suffers in one form or another. Why does one owner have more rights than 70 or more neighbors? Is this fair or just?

Please do what you can to stop CAFOs from encroaching on our wonderful county so we can all enjoy the quality of life Jefferson County has given us for so many years!

 

– Bhavani Mair, Jefferson County

 

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