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Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008 01:57 am

Letters to the Editor

Untitled Document We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.
OPPOSES PROPOSED MEGADAIRY The Illinois Department of Agriculture is considering whether to approve an application by a California dairyman to build a confined animal feeding operation, or CAFO, east of Galena in Jo Daviess County. CAFOs are facilities that house hundreds or thousands of animals in close quarters lacking vegetation. The animals are often kept in buildings or outside pens, and their waste is stored in underground pits and ponds. If approved, the new Jo Daviess “megadairy” would house at least 10,000 cows generating over 90 million gallons of manure annually, and the manure would be stored in 70 acres of manmade ponds. It would be the largest CAFO in the state. Much of the meat we buy in grocery stores comes from CAFOs, but unfortunately these facilities are all too often improperly designed or managed. CAFOs have polluted streams, groundwater, and domestic wells; caused health problems in CAFO workers and nearby residents; fouled the air with nuisance odors; and lowered property values. Infrequent government inspections only compound these problems.
The CAFO proposed for Jo Daviess County should not be approved because it is located in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas of Illinois. The county is characterized by thin soils and fractured bedrock and aquifers known as karst, making the groundwater particularly prone to contamination. The rolling hills of the area will facilitate the movement of land-applied manure into streams and the Apple River. Tourists and outdoor enthusiasts who visit the area for hiking, fishing, and other activities may find that their outing is spoiled by terrible odors and manure-borne pathogens in the water. The clock is ticking as the Department of Agriculture decides what to do. The Jo Daviess County Board has already voiced its opposition, but the department has many times before gone against the decisions of county boards. Without many voices raised in opposition, this huge CAFO may set the precedent that Illinois is a fantastic place to put more of them. People wanting to make a difference should call the office of the governor and state, “I oppose the Jo Daviess County CAFO!”
Stacy James Champaign
I NEED A PLACE TO RECYCLE GLASS I, too, saw in Popular Science the welcome news that Springfield ranks where it does environmentally [“Cap City,” Feb. 21]. Because I don’t live in the city, there is no place to recycle glass available to me. I’ve tried to find a location where I can deliver glass, and the only one available is a factory in Lincoln. They do not have a collection route that includes Springfield and vicinities. I have suggested several times to personnel at the recycling centers in and around Springfield to accept glass bottles. There is a newer method of sandblasting that uses pulverized glass instead of sand. It is a cleaner and more environmentally efficient method. So far, it has fallen on the ears of uninterested parties. Ed Gutierrez-Perry
Pleasant Plains
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