Group asks court to stop pig farm construction.

November 15, 2018

The construction site at Flower Creek Swine, LLC.

Group asks court to stop pig farm construction.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

CLAYBANKS TOWNSHIP — Opponents to a pig farm are seeking a decision from the Muskegon County Circuit Court to stop construction of a new swine operation located southwest of Rothbury.

Flower Creek Swine, LLC will be located in a zoned agricultural area on West Flower Road off South 56th Avenue near the Claybanks United Methodist Church.

Despite major public opposition, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality last May approved the waste discharge permit for the farm, which is expected to produce about 1.5 million gallons of manure each year.

“The proposed CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) will house a maximum of 4,200 gilt finisher swine, which will arrive at the facility weighing 15 pounds and leave after 120 days weighing 255 pounds,” states a brief filed Nov. 5 by Traverse City law firm, Olson, Bzdok & Howard, PC.

Opponents have referred to the operation as a “pig factory.”

Claybanks United Methodist Church

Residents fear that the waste will contaminate the nearby Flower Creek watershed, which flows into Lake Michigan. Opponents with a local environmental advocacy group, Reviving Our American Democracy, say the pollution could destroy the state-designated cold-water trout fishery in the creek. It filed a challenge to the DEQ’s permit last July.

“FCS’s (Flower Creek Swine’s) proposed CAFO has faced overwhelming public opposition since the company’s member and registered agent, Jacob Marsh, applied for a permit in October of 2017,” states the legal brief.

Earlier this week, ROAD released findings indicating that testing since July found higher E. coli, sediment and nutrients in the creek.

Construction on the farm is in the works, and ROAD is asking the court to stop it pending a decision on the challenge.

ROAD is awaiting a ruling from Muskegon County’s 14th Circuit Court.

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