Water Contamination - Assignment Example

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The author of the paper tells about the water contamination by Buckeye farm which led to a massive manure spill in Otter Fork Creek Hills (Ohio History Central). This spill was responsible for killing 150,000 fish as the farm underwent expansion to fit in the production of more eggs…
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Water Contamination June 19 2009 Water pollution Water pollution is used to describe a body that is inadvertently affected by materials that make the content of the water unfit for use (Krantz & Kefferstein).
In 1980, Anton Pohlmann arrived in Licking County, Ohio and bought 2,200 acres of farmland to start an egg producing facility (Egg cruelty).
In 1983, Buckeye farm led to a massive manure spill in Otter Fork Creek Hills (Ohio History Central). This spill was responsible for killing 150,000 fish as the farm underwent expansion to fit in the production of more eggs.
1999 proved that Buckeye Farm had not done anything to reduce its manure content. Manure lagoons burst and killed fish for fifteen-miles in Racoon Creek. This time Pohlmann was mandated a cleanup by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. When this call was ignored, Ohio filed a lawsuit against the farm for breaking environmental laws and threatening to seize the Pohlmann’s assets if he did not comply.
Farms do two things to chicken manure: dump it in any available water resource or use it on the fields. Pohlmann decided to 14.1 tons of land-applied manure to one acre. This was done despite the recommendation limiting manure to six tons per acre (Rish). According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio has no Clean Water Act permits that specify control over livestock operations like Buckeye’s chicken farm. Also, Ohio’s Trade Secrecy act permits factories like the Buckeye farm to dump their manure in any off-site location without revealing the area.
However, it is not the manure spill alone that affects the poison content of the water. The intensive confinement of thousands of chickens can result in manure that is far beyond the soil’s absorption rate. The runoff that results from this heavy manure can cause not only water pollution but also affect the land. In the water, it causes eutrophication which makes the soil so rich in organic and mineral content that the amount of oxygen in the water is depleted (HSUS 2005). The difference is that while the plants in the water thrive, the animal life in the water body suffers.
This contamination includes more than manure dumping, the egg washing process makes it necessary for soap and broken egg shells to also become part of the water body.
This contamination is not a problem for the land and animals alone. The polluted water that drains into the rivers is a percentage of the drinking water for the humans in that area. Grant claims that 60% of the water dumped into these rivers is used as drinking water by the locals of Ohio (1998).
Thus, Buckeye farm profited from a number of loopholes in Ohio’s state program. The farm was not forced to reveal the places it dumped the manure preventing the citizens from knowing if the manure is not being properly disposed in streams or wells. Ohio’s environmental body also has the permission to ask for the management of livestock manure if any farm has more than 1000 livestock units: like the Buckeye Farm. However, it never uses this power and instead allows farms to discharge its waste in waterways. Thus, no changes have been bought in the law despite the various law suits against the Buckeye farm.
The Buckeye Farm was finally shutdown in 2004 and sold to Ohio Fresh eggs (Toleda Business Journal).

Grant D, April 13 1998, Hearing Set for Tuesday on egg farm application, The Courtier
HSUS :Humane Society of the United States 2005, Marks Dairy Farm Manure Spill Threatens Environment and Public Health viewed June 19 2009
Natural Resources Defense Council, America’s animal factories: How states fail to prevent pollution from livestock waste, viewed June 19 2009,
Krantz D & Kafferstein B, Water pollution and society, viewed June 19 2009,
Ohio History Central, Buckeye Egg Farm, viewed June 19 2009,
Rish J, Americas Animal Factories: How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Waste, Natural resources Defense Council, viewed June 19 2009
Toleda Business Journal, 2005, Buckeye Egg Farm in contempt of Court, viewed June 19 2009 Read More
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