Ferguson: North Dakota's water quality is in danger
As I continue to oppose the Grand Prairie Agriculture LLP/ Pipestone Systems proposed industrial hog operation near Devils Lake, N.D., I read in the North Dakota Farm Bureau Focus "Do you support North Dakota's most reliable economy?" In this newsletter, NDFB states, "We now have a good understanding of the appropriate structures and locations needed to produce livestock, while looking out for the best interests of every stakeholder." Are you kidding me? "Appropriate locations?" The proposed facility and manure dump sites are on land that drains directly into Devils Lake and the Spiritwood Aquifer runs beneath it. How is that an appropriate location?
And what about the "appropriate structures?" These buildings sit on top of a pit that will hold a year's worth of hog waste. It has been documented time and time again that these pits are known to leak. Where do you think all of the leaked waste will go?
There is a diagram in the Grand Prairie Ag permit application that shows drain tile surrounding the manure pit. It also shows that the manure from the tile will drain directly into a wetland to the northeast. Because the permit application is public record, anyone can call the North Dakota Department of Health to receive a copy. I encourage you to do so, so that you can see for yourself.
The newsletter goes on to say, "The opposition claims these farms are a threat to our waters, air and general domestic tranquility. The push-back becomes so shrill as to make one think unregulated nuclear dumps are being placed in the local neighborhood park or next door to the nursing home." Well, they're right. This is exactly where these facilities are being placed. In fact, one of the manure dump sites is right next to a campground. How's that for being placed "in the local neighborhood park?"
The NDFB newsletter continues, "Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, ranks 4th in the nation for pork production. These nay-sayers should take a drive to Detroit Lakes. It's clear modern livestock production can coexist with all the activities of that lake region. This example repeats itself in communities across the country."
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, monitoring suggests that about 40 percent of Minnesota's lakes and streams are impaired. Let's talk about Iowa. They are ranked No. 1 in pork production and 49th in state water quality.
North Dakota, they are coming for us. The other states like Iowa, North Carolina and Minnesota used to have good clean water like North Dakota has. Once the land, air and water becomes too polluted and the animals becomes diseased in one state, they move on to the next state. We are next. Don't be fooled by the ND Farm Bureau, if you're a member, your membership dues are going directly to support corporate and factory farming in North Dakota.
Ferguson lives in Mohall, N.D.