By Glenn Coin
This 3-million gallon manure pit takes in waste from cows on an Onondaga County dairy farm. It is similar to one planned for Markland Road in Lafayette, which neighbors oppose.
Lafayette, N.Y. -- Here's a statistic to start your day. (click here) A dairy farm with 200 cows produces as much manure as the city of Albany and its 98,000 residents produces sewage, according to a leading environmental group.
No ... fooling.
Communities have experience with managing human waste, but as the state's dairy industry has grown in recent years to meet the needs of yogurt, cheese and milk lovers, so has the problem of manure that poses an environmental threat to waterways and residents.
Manure management has become controversial, and farms in Central New York are at the center of the debate.
- In LaFayette, residents are fighting a plan to build 2.4-million gallon manure pit at the top of sparsely populated Markland Road, fearing they'll be subject to odors, flies and contamination of their wells.
- In the nearby Tully Valley, citizens groups along the Kettle Lakes have filed legal action against the state, charging that Department of Environmental Conservation's latest regulations for large dairy farms are "toothless" and won't adequately protect the environment from manure spills.
Both cases revolve around how to regulate the waste produced by large industrial farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs....