By Kate Duesterberg My colleagues and I have been on the Vermont back roads for months, visiting all kinds of farms and talking with all varieties of farmers, from Franklin County mega-dairies to [...]
Also published in the VTDigger By Will Allen and Michael Colby It’s no secret that the conventional dairy industry is in a deep, downward spiral, decades in the making. This is largely the result [...]
The refusal to regulate big ag in Vermont, a state still branded as bucolic, has led to 15 lakes and 86 rivers and streams were deemed as impaired in 2016 by the US EPA. None of Lake Champlain’s 174,175 Vermont acres fully support all designated uses due to the combined effects of mercury contamination, PFOA pollution, nutrient accumulation (nitrogen and phosphorus), and non-native species. To punctuate how widespread the pollution is, according to the EPA, more than 138,900 acres (80%) of the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain were not even swimmable during the summers of 2015 and 2016.
Contamination from the mega-dairies that supply Vermont’s big brands, like Ben & Jerry’s and Cabot Cheese, is nothing new to Vermonters, especially when it comes to the contamination of our waterways. For decades, these iconic brands have garnered enormous profits – each hovering around the $1 billion-a-year level – while pushing a kind of confinement, non-grazing dairy production, resulting in a toxic farm runoff that is literally choking our lakes and streams. Even the beloved Lake Champlain is one of more than 100 other bodies of water in Vermont that are classified as “impaired.” And, in many cases, “impaired” means filled with the green slime that is cyanobacteria, smelling so badly that homes and summer camps have become uninhabitable, and beaches are posted with signs that warn, “no swimming.” Read more: regenerationvermont.org/a-failure-to-regulate-big-dairy-water-pollution-in-vermont/Save Lake Carmi... See MoreSee Less
Here is the entire email, I just received from Hayden Dublois, Executive Assistant in the Office of Governor Phil Scott. This email is in regards to the current status of the pilot aeration system.
Here is what I received from Perry Thomas.
“ANR is supporting the Franklin Watershed Association in securing grant funding for design and installation of a pilot aeration project in the northeastern lobe of the lake. Assuming the Implementation Team can also identify funding for long-term operation and maintenance, then we expect the system to be in place by next summer.”
This is an agenda item for the Carmi TDML Implementation Team at their next meeting on Thursday, September 28th from 5:00 – 6:30 at the Franklin Homestead FELCO Room.
Regeneration Vermont, James Ehlers for Vermont, Lake Champlain International, Dustin Degree, Carolyn Branagan, David Zuckerman,
The waterways in Vermont’s dairy-dominated regions are in crisis – literally running green from the cyanobacteria outbreaks caused by phosphorus-rich manure. This is the Black Creek, a St. Albans Bay tributary, a water resource choking from confinement-dairy runoff. This region’s mega-farms are the primary suppliers for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It’s a bad bargain – Ben & Jerry’s profits while Vermont suffers. Help us right the wrong that is Vermont’s big dairy. #VermontWrong ... See MoreSee Less
Ground zero for Vermont’s dairy pollution is the tragically-polluted Lake Carmi, in Franklin County. Its beaches have been closed for weeks due to cyanobacteria outbreaks, as the water is green and the smells hang over a once-thriving area, now a mere ghost town. Think: Love Canal. And there’s no secret about the cause of the pea-soup like water lapping up on its barren shores: Big Dairy and its 36,000 confined cows in Franklin County alone – the primary dairy source for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. We will be releasing a water report soon to provide more information and action steps. Sign up for our list to be the first to read our new reports! ... See MoreSee Less