Environmental Issues


See Also










A Report On Current Knowledge Of Key Environmental Issues Related To Hog Production In Manitoba. [pdf] (Oct., 2007) Commissioned By: Clean Environment Commission (CEC). The seven issues to be addressed included nutrient management and water quality, water use, odour management and air quality, manure storage, manure processing, energy use, and pathogens and antibiotic resistance.

Economic Analysis of the Hog Production Industry in Manitoba in Relation to the Clean Environment Commission Review of Environmental Sustainability (2007). [pdf] George Morris Centre, Guelph, ON, The purpose of this project is to provide an economic background against which the environmental sustainability of the Manitoba hog production industry can be measured. The Manitoba Clean Environment Commission (CEC) intends to use this report to evaluate the industry’s prospects in order to assess environmental impacts and needs into the future.

Expert Consultation on Emerging Issues of the Great Lakes in the 21st Century [1.14 MB pdf] (Nov. 2006). Papers prepared by experts for a meeting convened at Wingspread, Wisconsin, by the IJC's Great Lakes Water Quality Board, the International Air Quality Advisory Board and the Council of Great Lakes Research Managers in partnership with Environment Canada, the U.S. EPA and the Johnson Foundation, as well as a summary of the experts' discussions and recommendations.

Advice to Governments on Their Review of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement [1.46 MB pdf] (Aug. 2006). The IJC recommends that the two federal governments replace the current Agreement with a shorter and more action-oriented document.

Thirteenth Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality (Dec. 2006) [830 KB pdf] . International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes. The IJC recommends that the governments of Canada and the United States create and apply an "uncommonly strong" Accountability Framework for Great Lakes restoration and protection under the Agreement.

Sources and Mechanisms of Delivery of E.coli (bacteria) Pollution to the Lake Huron Shoreline of Huron County (2005) [5859 KB pdf]. Ont. Min. of Environ. In 2004, the Lake Huron Sci. Committee (LHSC) was initiated by MOE, in consultation with the OMAF and Environment Canada, in response to public concerns over bacterial (E. coli) pollution along the southeast shoreline of Lake Huron.

Environmental Farm Planning Program (B.C.). Download the Reference Guide for use with the British Columbian Environmental Farm Plan Planning Workbook. 

Watershed-Based Source Protection Planning: Science-based Decision-making for Protecting Ontario’s Drinking Water Resources: [pdf] A Threats Assessment Framework Technical Experts Committee. (Nov., 2004). the Technical Experts Committee presents a comprehensive set of recommendations relating to the “threats assessment framework” envisioned in the provincial government’s proposed source protection legislation. [pdf]  

Twelfth Biennial Report [1343 KB pdf] (Sept. 2004) International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes (Prepared pursuant to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978 for submission to the Governments of the United States and Canada and the State and Provincial Governments of the Great Lakes Basin) - Without adequate safeguards, our health can be threatened by pathogens and disease-bearing microorganisms. The governments must focus increased attention on protecting the sources of drinking water supplies. In particular, coordinated action by all those responsible for managing watersheds is required to avoid impacts from expanded land use pressures from agriculture, development, industry and urban centers.

Threats to Water Availability in Canada. National Water Res. Inst., Environment Canada - Increased national concerns about water quantity, including recent floods - like the devastating Saguenay and coastal British Columbia floods - droughts, glacier retreat, and the impacts of climate change have prompted this national science assessment. Complete Report [4274 KB pdf] (2004).

Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Watershed-based Source Protection Planning (Ontario) [1157 KB pdf] (Apr 2003). a provincial legislated framework for watershed-based source protection planning is required to put in place measures that will help ensure the safety of Ontario’s drinking water and protect public health. While the framework proposed in this report speaks mainly to the initial planning exercise, it recognizes that source protection will be an ongoing and evolving undertaking, informed by experience, based on better science and assisted by new technologies.

Appearance of liquid manure in water at various dilutions. Final report (July 2003) [359KB pdf].  Fleming, R., VandeWeghe, J., MacAlpine, M., Ridgetown College, U. of Guelph -  Based on the observations using one sample of liquid swine manure, the following appear to be true: · Manure in water at a ratio of 1:5000 was barely visible when the initial water was clear. Concentrations of 1:500 should be visible in most cases. It is therefore possible that water could contain unacceptable levels of manure-sourced bacteria even though it appears to be clear.

Comparative Standards for Intensive Livestock Operations in Canada, Mexico, and the United States [672  KB pdf] (4 Feb. 2002).  Commission for Environmental Cooperation - Jerry Speir, Tulane Inst. for Env. Law and Policy, Tulane Law School; Marie-Ann Bowden, U. of Sask., David Ervin, Winrock International, Jim McElfish, Env. Law Institute (ELI); Rosario Pérez Espejo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM); Tim Whitehouse and Chantal Line Carpentier, Commission for Envi. Cooperation -  This Report surveys the current environmental requirements for "intensive livestock operations" (ILOs) in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Report draws conclusions about current regulatory regimes and makes recommendations on the management of environmental issues associated with ILOs.

Nutrients and their Impact on the Canadian Environment (2001). Patricia A. Chambers et al., Environment Canada, National Water Research Institute -  In Canada, environmental problems caused by excessive nutrients are less severe and tend to be more localized than in countries with a longer history of settlement and agricultural production. This situation is due to our relatively small population compared to our land base and the protective measures implemented by both the federal and provincial/territorial governments in the last 30 years. (241p) [pdf format, 8124 KB].

The Management of Manure in Ontario with Respect to Water Quality. [2981 KB pdf] (Mar. 6, 2001). M.J. Goss, K.S. Rollins, K. McEwan, J.R. Shaw, H. Lammers-Helps, U. of Guelph. This draft paper has been prepared as a background document for the Walkerton Inquiry. It is intended to generate and inform discussion about the safety of drinking water among parties with standing, relevant experts, and the public.

The Health of Our Water, May 2000 (3008 KB). This book bolsters Canada’s international reputation of being in the vanguard of research and reporting on environmental interests. It is a welcome addition to the pool of information on natural resources and the environment that is available to farmers, the non-farming public, politicians, government agencies, and educational institutions.

A Proposed Framework for Managing the Impact of Agriculture on Groundwater [221 KB pdf] (Aug. 21, 2000) A report prepared for the Sierra-ALERT Coalition for Submission to Part 2 of the Walkerton Inquiry; by J. Harman*, J.E. McLellan, D.L. Rudolph**, D.J. Heagle*, C. Piller*, S.E. Denhoed*  (* Harden Environmental Services Ltd., ** Univ. of Waterloo, Earth & Environmental Sciences Dept) ; Agricultural operations have been shown to adversely affect groundwater quality, but they are largely unregulated. Regulations need to be developed beginning with new, large operations that carry a relatively higher risk to water resources followed by existing operations that are in susceptible hydrogeological environments. Incentives must be made available to existing operations to ensure that changes being made for the greater environmental good do not seriously affect farm economics.

NAFTA Effects on Water: Testing for NAFTA Effects in the Great Lakes Basin (Sept. 2000) (427 KB pdf). Christine Elwell, Sierra Club of Canada. The Great Lakes region's greatest economic, recreational, and spiritual asset is its water. The region is not prepared for stresses on its water resources generated by NAFTA-induced economic growth.  The Great Lakes contain nearly 20 percent of the world's accessible fresh water. In a global context of increasing water shortage induced by rises in population and average living standard, decision-makers must seriously consider the pressure of trade in water as significant environmental stressors on the Great Lakes.

Environmental Fate of Nitrate in the Assiniboine Delta Aquifer (Manitoba) (Dec. 2000)(2498 KB pdf). by David L. Burton and M. Cathryn Ryan, LRCS Land Resource Consulting Services For Manitoba Horticulture Productivity Enhancement Centre Inc.  The risk of nitrate contamination of the Assiniboine Delta Aquifer as a consequence of agricultural activities is high, due to the characteristics of the aquifer and its geological setting, and to the suitability of the land for agricultural development and use. Expansion of intensive crop production, irrigation, and livestock production would further increase this risk. A clear assessment of the risk requires a field- and groundwater-based study to elucidate the potential for denitrification, including the nature and long-term supply of electron donors and their associated groundwater impacts.

Impacts of Winter Spreading of Manure on Water Quality: A Literature Review [100 KB pdf] (2000). Ron Fleming, and Heather Fraser, Ridgetown College, Univ. of Guelph, Ridgetown, Ontario N0P 2C0. One of the goals of this literature review was to outline the various risk factors associated with winter-spreading of manure. However, the single greatest impact is "weather". Since this is a factor that is out of the control of the farmer and cannot be accurately predicted, the risk of runoff from winter-spread manure will be low some years and high in other years.

The Health of Our Air, 1998  (3259 KB). This book comprehensively addresses those interactions between land and atmosphere that arise because of agricultural practices in Canada. Some of the atmospheric changes may be benign or even beneficial to humans and plants.  But there is much evidence to indicate that adverse effects are occurring. These negative effects will continue to increase unless changes occur in how we manage our energy, food, and fiber economies.

Impact of Livestock Manure And Fertilizer Application on Nitrate Contamination of Groundwater (3392 KB pdf) (Feb. 1996, 318 pp). M.F. Younie1, D.L. Burton2, R.G. Kachanoski 3, E. G. Beauchamp1 and R.W. Gillham3 (1Dept of Land Resource Science, U. of Guelph, 2 Dept of Soil Science, U. of Manitoba, 3 Waterloo Ctr for Groundwater Res., U. of Waterloo) [ISBN 0-7779-5030-3].  This study examined the fate of nitrogen (N), as a function of N source (NH4N03.

Nitrate and Phosphorous Levels in Selected Surface Water Sites in Southern Ontario: 1964-1994 [597 KB PDF]  Ron Fleming and Heather Fraser. Ridgetown College, Univ. of Guelph.  Is surface water in Ontario improving or is the quality dropping over time? Which land use typically creates the greatest contribution of phosphorus and nitrate to surface water? These are the questions that this study attempted to answer. Water quality data from selected surface water monitoring sites were examined. The sites were part of a network established by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. The data that was considered covered the period from 1964 to 1994. This was not intended to be an exhaustive study, but rather it was used to give a good snapshot of water quality trends. Objectives of the study were to use existing water quality data from the Ministry of the Environment to:  1) Show the current and past state of surface water nitrate-N and total phosphorous levels;  2) Recognize trends in nitrate and phosphorous levels over time; and  3)Identify relationship among nutrient levels, watershed uses and management practices.

Impacts of Livestock Manure On Water Quality in Ontario: An Appraisal of Current Knowledge (1991) (230 KB pdf) M.H. Miller, T.C. Martin, E.G. Beauchamp, R.G. Kachanoski, H.R. Whiteley. Univ. of Guelph.  This report provides: (1) a detailed assessment of our current understanding of the impact of livestock manure management on water quality with particular reference to Ontario; (2) a review of current guidelines on manure management in Ontario with recommended changes where justified by current understanding; and (3) a priorized list of research needs specific to Ontario.

Water Quality and Pig Performance. OMAFRA FactSheet Agdex#: 400; Pub. Date: 10/91; Order#: 91-071; Last Reviewed: 09/97; 1) Surface and Ground Water; 2) Bacterial Contamination of Water; 3) Mineral and Chemical Contamination of Water; 4) Testing for Water Quality     

Biorem Technologies Inc, 7496 Wellington Road 34, R.R. #3, Guelph, ON N1H 6H9.  A technology leader in the provision of cost competitive site remediation of contaminated soils, odour elimination from air streams and clean up of industrial wastewater using advanced biological processes.  Soil remediation; Biofiltration; Waste water; Lab services.

Huron County Surface Water Quality Data Study [3598 KB pdf] (Feb 1999). Shelly Bonte-Gelok & Douglas M. Joy, School of Engineering, U. of Guelph, for Huron Farm Environmental Coalition (Project #30 HS1) - The objectives of this project were to assemble and analyze water quality information for the past 25 years in Huron County, create a GIS database comprising this data, and provide recommendations for the collection of water quality data in the future.

A Sustainable Water Strategy For Ontario (Mar. 1999) [183 KB pdf];Paul McCulloch and Paul Muldoon, Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), 517 College St., Suite 401,Toronto, ON M6G 4A2 ; Phone: 416-960-2284 Fax: 416-960-9392; Email: intake@cela.ca; Prepared for The Environmental Agenda for Ontario Project March 1999 - Water is essential to both our health and economic well-being, as well as the health of all non-human species with which we share this earth. Ontario is fortunate to have an abundant supply of freshwater. However, our technologically advanced and industrialized society is jeopardizing this seemingly inexhaustible resource. Ontario's waters, especially those found within the Great Lakes Basin, are contaminated with numerous toxic chemicals, placing the health of humans and other species at risk. 

A Study to Identify the Seasonal Variations in Well-Water Contamination and Survey Farm Family Health (1994) [236 KB pdf]  M.J. Goss, D.A.J. Barry and J.B. Wilson, Univ. of Guelph - first stage of an investigation into the seasonality in the quality of well water on farms in Southern Ontario, and the health of farm families drinking water contaminated with bacteria used as indicators of faecal contamination.

North American Environmental Law and Policy (1325 KB pdf). Commission For Environmental Cooperation, 393, rue St-Jacques Ouest, bureau 200, Montréal (Québec) Canada H2Y 1N9; Tel.: (514) 350-4300; Fax: (514) 350-4314; E-mail: info@ccemtl.org  - The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is an international organization created by Canada, Mexico, and the United States under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law; section on Quebec hog farms.

Rural Well Water Survey (1992) [938 KB pdf]. Fleming, R.J., Centralia College of Agric. Technology, Huron Park, Ontario - Can. Soc. Ag. Eng. Paper No. 92-513, July 5-9, 1992, Brandon, MB. During the summer of 1991, a survey of rural wells in Huron County was carried out. 30.5% of the dug/bored wells exceeded the drinking water recommendation of 10 mg/L for nitrate-N. This compares to 4% for the drilled wells. 37% of the wells tested had bacteria levels that would be considered unsafe based on the current standards (however only one test was performed). Dug/bored wells had significantly higher levels of bacteria than the drilled wells. Only two of the five pesticides measured were detected in any of the water samples.

Impact of Agricultural Practices on Tile Water Quality [653 KB] (1990). Ron Fleming, Centralia College, Huron Park, ON - Weekly samples were collected from 14 tile drains in the Prkhill Creek watershed of SW Ontario for a 3 yr-period. Physical, chemical and bacterial analysis of these samples was carried out. The relative impact of various farming practices is discussed.

Clean Water Program. Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Ontario (Healthy Futures Project);  rural water quality initiative of the Counties of Middlesex, Oxford and Perth, the Cities of London and Stratford, the Town of St. Marys, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to cost-share the implementation of best management practices on agricultural lands; includes incentive program.

Environmental documents related to the manure issue from Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario; Staff Reports & Publications;  Environmental Bill of Rights.




Assessing the Risk of Groundwater Contamination from Animal Waste Management [38KB pdf] Kansas State University. Frank C. Mercurio, Agricultural Engineer, Soil Conservation Service; Larry G. Hess, Vic Robbins, Kansas Department of Health and Environment; Richard D. Black, Extension Agricultural Engineer; and Kevin L. Herbel, Extension Assistant-Farm•A•Syst; Careful handling of wastes from animal production makes it possible to receive some benefit from these wastes. Improperly managed wastes, however, can contribute nutrients and disease causing organisms to both surface water and groundwater.

Managing Common Estuarine Environmental Problems. US EPA Office of Water. Introduction | Nutrient Overloading | Pathogens | Toxic Chemicals | Habitat Loss & Degradation | Introduced Species | Alteration of Natural Flow Regimes | Declines in Fish & Wildlife Populations; The 28 National Estuary Programs (NEPs) are working to address estuarine environmental problems through various combinations of regulation; innovative initiatives; balanced and inclusive planning and management; scientific research and monitoring; and public outreach and education. The following discussion provides examples of how different NEPs around the country are tackling common environmental problems in order to protect and restore some of America's most significant bays, harbors, sounds, and lagoons.

America's Animal Factories: How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Waste. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.  This is the complete text of the December 1998 report published by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Clean Water Network. The report examines the environmental and health consequences of pollution from industrial livestock farms in 30 states, as well as the widely varying efforts to curtail it.  View/Download complete report [1051 KB pdf].

Implementation of a Livestock Systems Environmental Assessment ToolJournal of Extensionn, February 2000, Volume 38 Number 1 - Rick Koelsch, Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska; Larry Howard, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, Cuming County, West Point, Nebraska; Steve Pritchard, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, Platte County, Columbus, Nebraska; Paul Hay, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, Gage County, Beatrice, Nebraska; A "Livestock Systems Environmental Assessment" tool (LSEA) was developed to support Cooperative Extension programs addressing livestock environmental issues in Nebraska. The ability of the tool to assist in identifying environmental strengths, weaknesses, and solutions was pilot tested by 97 livestock producers in three counties. An evaluation was completed 6 to 9 months later by 61 participants.

Animal Wastes as a Source of Drinking Water Contamination. UCD EXTOXNET FAQ Team; The EXtension TOXicology NETwork - Animal production facilities can be a source of drinking water contamination if wastes are not properly managed. Microorganisms, nitrogen, and phosphorus are the prime contaminants from manure. There are various types of microorganisms present in fecal waste that cause severe illness and disease if ingested. Excessive amounts of nitrogen, in the nitrate form, which is converted to the nitrite form in the body, will prevent oxygen from binding to hemoglobin in the blood. Infants are especially sensitive to excess nitrite and can suffer methemoglobinemia, or "Blue Baby Syndrome".

Effects of Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) on Hydrologic Resources and the Environment [Conference], Fort Collins, Colorado, Aug. 30–Sept. 1, 1999 (US Geological Survey, sponsor)- Perspectives on AFOs Research Needs; Integration of Environmental Policy and Science; Topical Session B: Human Health and Air and Water Quality; Pathogens; Pharmaceuticals; Nutrients.

Waste Management, Water Quality & Odor Information.  Extension Swine Husbandry Staff, Dept of Animal Science, North Carolina State U. - series of publications.

USDA - NRCS National Water Management Center - 101 East Capitol, Suite 212, Little Rock, AR 72201; Tel. (501) 210-8900 -   The National Water Management Center (NWMC) is part of the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Science and Technology Consortium. The NWMC consist of an interdisciplinary, multi-agency team of national consultants helping implement water-related projects.

Interesting series of papers on Sustainable Farming by Dr. John Ikerd, Prof. Emeritus, U. of Missouri.

The Grace Factory Farm Project - goal is to eliminate factory farming in favor of a sustainable food production system which is healthful and humane, economically viable and environmentally sound.

Environmental Impacts of Livestock on U.S. Grazing Lands. Issue Pap.#22, [176 KB pdf] (Nov. 2002). CAST - Co-chairs: W.C. Krueger, Dept of Rangeland Resources, Oregon State U., Corvallis and M.A. Sanderson, U.S.D.A., A.R.S., University Park, PA. This issue paper takes a critical look at the environmental impacts of grazing systems and provides guidance on land management tools. Key issues of concern include alteration of wildlife habitat and degradation of soil and water quality. The authors find that current problems may stem from land use practices of several decades ago and may require active management practices to restore the land's health.

An Analysis of Local Benefits And Costs of Michigan Hog Operations Experiencing Environmental Conflicts (08/28/97)- Mark Abeles-Allison and Larry J. Connor, Agricultural Economics Report #536, Dept. of Agric. Econ., Michigan State U., East Lansing, MI 48824  - report examines local benefits and costs associated with hog operations for which odor complaints had been received in Michigan. A regression analysis approach was  used to determine the implicit prices of hog odors on property values. Property values were regressed against household and neighborhood characteristics of residential properties surrounding these hog farms. The benefit/cost ratios for a 500 and 5,000 head hog operations in a township with a $20 million State Equalized Valuation (SEV) are 5.64 and 3.86 respectively. The study indicates that the ratio of benefits to costs increase (improve) as SEV declines. This means that damages are dependent upon property value. As the amount of property value in the area declines, damages decline.

Environmental Policies and Agricultural Land Values: Evidence from the Dutch Nutrient Quota System [145 KB pdf]. Tomislav Vukina and Ada Wossink, Dept of Agric.& Resource Econ., N. Carolina State U., Nelson Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695-8109 - paper analyzes the impact of the phosphate based animal production rights on agricultural land values in the Netherlands. We claim that the existence of mandatory production control program with regional restriction on trading causes a disproportional increase in land prices in the surplus region where the quota is binding relative to the deficit region where the quota is not binding and that the increase in the cost of environmental compliance should generate an eroding effect on the existing gap in land prices. The parameters of an inverse land demand model estimated with panel data support both hypotheses.

Hotspots in animal agriculture, emerging federal environmental policies and the potential for efficiency and innovation offsets [839 KB pdf]. Ada Wossink, Dept of Agric. & Resource Econ, N. Carolina State U., Nelson Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695-8109; Frank Wefering,  Rupprecht Consult, Forschung & Beratung GmbH, Kemperbacher strasse 55, 51069 Cologne, Germany  - In North America and Northern Europe high livestock densities in concentrated areas (hot spots) have led to manure surpluses, which have resulted in water pollution problems. Using the emerging policy objectives for animal waste in the European Union and the United States as a backdrop, this paper discusses the impact of environmental regulation on farm profits.

Managing Manure to Improve Air and Water Quality (Sept 2005). Marcel Aillery, Noel Gollehon, Robert Johansson, Jonathan Kaplan, Nigel Key, and Marc Ribaudo -Econ. Res. Service, USDA;  Economic Research Rep. No. (ERR9) 65 pp.  Report assesses the economic and environmental tradeoffs between water quality policies and air quality policies that could require the animal sector to take potentially costly measures to abate pollution, based on a farm-level analysis of hog farms, a national analysis including all sectors, and a regional assessment in an area with high animal numbers. See also: Related ERS Manure documents



Agri-Environmental Policy Measures: Overview of Developments [169 KB pdf] (6 Nov. 2003). OECD Joint Working Party on Agriculture and the Environment - an overview of developments of agri-environmental policy measures in OECD member countries; there is mixed evidence regarding whether the compatibility between agricultural, agri-environ. & environmental policies (policy coherence) has improved in the past two decades in relation to environmental issues in agriculture. Some OECD countries have taken steps to streamline agri-environmental policies measures within over-arching frameworks or action plans addressing environmental or rural development objectives.




Bruce T. Bowman, Archivist
Last Updated: Saturday, October 06, 2018 03:46:00 PM