Pollution from a proposed intensive egg farm threatens the organic certification of local farms and the local environment. Locals need your help to protect their hard earned organic certification, water supplies, local wetlands and the environment.
The organic farms use little water. The egg farm would put 120,000 hens into 6 sheds that are just 135m x 16m. The huge volumes of chemicals and manure from the farm would put pollution into local air and groundwater threatening the environment and organic certification of farmers. The intensive water needs of the farm would drain the already over-allocated local water sources.
The farm company is trying to placate concerns by claiming they will be 'free range', but in reality the hens are stuck in sheds at more than 9 hens per square meter, with limited access to small outdoor areas. An investigation by The Age newspaper in Victoria of an egg farm that the proponent says in their documentation to the EPA is almost identical to their proposal, showed that less than 20% of hens were outside. (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/free-to-range-or-not-have-supermarkets-egg-on-their-faces-20130303-2fefx.html).
Organic farms, ground water, local wetlands and the environment should be put before large scale industrial farms.
Please find below my comment regarding AAA Egg Company Pty Ltd proposal to develop a Poultry Farm on Lot 7974 Cowalla Road, Wanerie in the Shire of Gingin.
I am concerned that proper studies have not been conducted to justify the proposed AAA egg farm and further that the farm is unlikely to be environmentally acceptable at the proposed location.
The farm threatens groundwater and wetlands with water already over allocated in the area, and air pollution, noise pollution and odours threaten surrounding residents including NASAA certified organic farmers who should be protected from industrial development that compromises their certification. Organic farming has significantly less environmental impact than industrial scale egg farms and should be encouraged over these facilities.
Some of the issues that require further investigation are listed below:
Air pollution and odour caused by the large volume of manure and of waste produced by a large factory farm will adversely impact the environmental integrity of the area. The odour impact model clearly shows an adverse impact over a large area including local organic farms. The frequent easterly winds will carry the pollution and dust produced by this type of facility across the surrounding area.
Water table impact: A large egg farm requires a large amount of water from an area already over allocated. The farm depends on irrigation based on an approved water licence.
Disposal of waste water: There is no plan for waste water treatment from the egg farm. The large volume of contaminated water will at best be put into septic systems that will leach into the ground water.
Ground water pollution due to manure, waste and chemicals will leach into the water table and spread to the surrounding area. There has not been an impact study into ground water pollution from this proposed egg farm.
Contamination of the rare natural lakes: The proposed factory farm is in an area very near to a number of natural lakes that support a large variety of native birds and a variety of wildlife. There has not been an impact study of ground water and dust contamination of the local natural lakes or bird life.
Chemical usage and storage: Intensive factory farms of this nature use toxic chemicals for disease, insect control and vermin control. This will have an adverse impact on the air and water in the area. There is no detail in the plan of the proposed usage or impact of chemical sprays used in this type of intense egg production.
Spray drift: Any residue will adversely impact organic certification of local farms. The prevailing winds in the area will spread chemical spray to the surrounding area.
Contaminated dust: The movement of traffic and the storage, handling and transport of manure and other contaminates will produce dust that will drift in the prevailing winds. Any residue will adversely impact the surrounding area.
Rainwater contamination: Most residents in the area collect rain water from their roofs for consumption. Collection of rainwater will be adversely impacted by the contaminated dust and cause rain water to be unsuitable for consumption.
Increased flies: The Shire has already had major issues with fly infestations caused by poultry manure. This will only add to an already difficult problem.
Noise and night operations: The facility will operate on a 24x7 basis in an area that does not have 24x7 industrial facilities. This will create noise that will adversely impact the residents in the area.