Farmer turned activist fights manure-spreading faults

Michigander's grassroots effort tracks megafarms

Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

CLAYTON, MI -- Since 2000, Lynn Henning has watched a dozen huge dairy and hog farms mushroom in her rural area west of Adrian. A farmer herself, she was disturbed by the size of the operations and the massive amounts of untreated waste they produced. Runoff from untreated manure began to taint nearby creeks and foul the air with a putrid stench.

Henning, 52, began testing water herself to track discharges from the farms into local waters. She has been threatened and sued and had dead animals dumped on her porch. But her tireless detective work has contributed to the state closing one factory farm and fining others more than $400,000 for 1,077 violations since 2000.

For her efforts, Henning is to receive the 2010 Goldman Environmental Prize today, often described as the Nobel Prize for environmental work. It's given annually to one person on each continent.

For Henning, it's a surprising Cinderella moment...

Read more @Detroit Free Press.

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