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LANSING, MI -- The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) recently announced a public input period has been scheduled through Feb. 21 in order to gather comments on the 2014 drafts of the state's Generally Accepted Processing Practices (GAPPs).
Written comments may be submitted to MDARD's Environmental Stewardship Division, P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, MI 48909 and postmarked no later than February 21, 2014, or sent via e-mail to email@example.com by 5 p.m. on February 21, 2014. MDARD will forward all comments received by the due date to the GAPPs Task Force Chairperson for consideration. The GAPPs Task Force Chairperson will then present the proposed GAPPs to the Commission for final adoption. Public comments are accepted and considered at scheduled commission meetings before final versions of the GAPPs are approved.
The Michigan Agriculture Processing Act provides nuisance protection for agriculture processers which are in conformance with GAPPs. GAAPs were developed with representatives from universities, industry, state agencies, consulting engineers, and legal representatives. They are reviewed annually, revised and updated as necessary.
These GAPPs were developed in accordance with the Michigan Agriculture Processing Act, (1988 PA 381). The Act requires the establishment of Generally Accepted Fruit, Vegetable, Dairy, Meat and Grain Processing Practices. They are written to provide uniform, statewide standards and acceptable management practices based on standard industry practices.
Agricultural processing has experienced significant changes during the past 50 years. As communities expand into rural areas the potential exists for nuisance concerns to occur between residents and existing agriculture processing facilities. In addition, facilities have gone from operating over a relatively short harvest period to expanded year-round operations to better serve their customers, process a greater variety of products, and compete in a global economy. This has provided facilities the flexibility and opportunity to change and adopt new technology to remain economically viable and competitive while being protective of the environment. In order to assure a healthy, growing processing industry in Michigan, effort must be taken to address concerns of processors and their neighbors. By following these GAPPs, processors can be protected from harassment and nuisance complaints. In addition, persons living near processing operations who do not follow GAPPs will be able to have concerns addressed when nuisance problems occur.