Streams that are flowing sewers, lakes that have become cesspools, ground water that is saturated with bacteria, and a rapidly shrinking fresh water aquifer—that is the future of southwest Missouri if the egg producer MOARK is allowed to expand.
Local readers know about MOARK; they often see it in the news, fighting one community after another for the right to pollute it. Before long, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will decide whether the company can increase their total number of chickens to at least 4.5 million birds.
According to the MDNR itself, that would mean the raw manure MOARK would have to dispose of would be the equivalent of what 395,000 people would create annually! That’s one truckload leaving the Neosho plant every few minutes! Since they have already saturated Elk River Valley, and with gas prices going up, these trucks will now most likely be dumping in Jasper County and SE Kansas.
In addition, these chickens require 400,000 gallons of fresh water every day, yet the aquifer supplying our wells is already dropping! In other words, MOARK sucks up huge amounts of our precious drinking water and then dumps out its manure, turning our ground water—our streams and ponds and lakes—into sewage.
MOARK always has answers to these criticisms—fabulous, untrustworthy answers. In fact, in this matter twin dangers are their greed, which breeds lies (and flies), and our apathy, which leads to whining rather than to productive action.
To fight back, go here for guidance. And write the Department of Natural Resources, Water Protection Program, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102, ATTN: Peter Goode, P.E., Chief, NPDES Permits and Engineering Section. Be sure to include Permit Number: MO-0122840 for the Mo-Ark7, Neosho permit application; MO-0122572 for Anderson Farms permit application; and MO-0123382 for the Top Notch permit application. Comments should be confined to the issues relating to the proposed action and permit(s) and the effect on water quality. The MDNR may not consider as relevant comments or objections to a permit based on issues outside the authority of the Clean Water Commission. All comments must be postmarked by May 29, 2005 or received in their office by June 1, 2005. The MDNR requires a signed letter; no email inquiries will be accepted. Copies of all draft permits and other information including copies of applicable regulations are available for inspection and copying at DNR's website.
Webb City, MO