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Report of the Union County Environmental Baseline Study April 27, 2011 Union County Commissioners’ Hearing Room

Presented by: Tim Buckley, Associate Professor & Chair Liesel Seryak, Graduate Research Associate Division of Environmental Health Sciences OSU College of Public Health tbuckely@cph.osu.edu & lseryak@cph.osu.edu


Introduction  

Urban and rural sprawl leads to residential populations encroaching on agriculture (Kremer et al. 2005)

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In 2007 there were 64,570 farms that specialized in poultry or eggs in the United States (USDA Census of Agriculture)    

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90% of all poultry operations are family farms; however those only account for 31% of inventory and 61.9% of sales Corporations own only 3.7% of all poultry farms, but account for 52% of inventory and 28% of sales

Concern about public health effects from CAFOs has been rising over the past decade  

Some evidence has shown adverse effects, but more research is needed to understand the relationships (e.g. Wing et al. 2008 & Sneeringer 2009)

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Introduction  

Odors from animal agriculture  

Odors can cause respiratory irritation and inflammation, stress, nausea, headaches (Schiffman et al. 1998/2000 & Shusterman et al. 2001)

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Malodor from industrial hog farming operations limits social and leisure activities that could cause public health detriment (Tajik et al. 2008) Malodor from animal agriculture triggers stress and negative mood (Horton et al. 2009)

Effects on quality of life (outdoor social activities, chores, sleep, etc.) have been observed with odors and air pollution in communities near industrial hogfarming operations (Wing et al. 2008 & 2010) April 27, 2011


Introduction – Union County  

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Home to more than 2.8 million chickens being raised on 3 farms within a 3-mile radius Proposed expansion of the poultry industry prompted public concern Stakeholders (including, government, industry, nongovernmental orgs & citizens) approached us to provide an objective assessment of baseline environmental conditions EPA assessments of the watershed in this region (latest data 1999) have shown areas of impairment by nutrients and other pollutants

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Union County Environmental Baseline Study 1. 

2. 

 

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Identify, acquire and evaluate existing environmental data to establish a baseline for the Bokes Creek watershed Assess community residents’ observations and concerns regarding the local environment Rationale: Baseline will provide means to assess future incremental environmental changes April 27, 2011


Methods   Identification,

acquisition, and analysis of existing data   Community survey of environmental concern

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Criteria for Considering Relevance of Existing Data Current, ongoing, timely data access

Time

Within watershed, upstream and downstream of points of influence and usage

UC Health Dept. •  Nuisance complaints •  Drinking water well tests Columbus water quality

Union S&W GIS data

Health, Recreational or Ecological

Ohio EPA data Summaries of student research

Space 7

Indicator April 27, 2011


Columbus Water Quality Assurance Lab  

Most recent & current dataset for Bokes Creek watershed Conducted by CWQAL with the primary purpose of predicting downstream challenges for drinking water for the city   Includes Nitrate, Phosphorus, Ammonia and Atrazine   Sampled across 7 sites twice per month 2005-2010 (less frequent sampling 2000-2004)  

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Methods--Survey  

Census approach within 3 townships (Liberty, Taylor & York)  

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Anonymity    

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Controversial issues within the county Minimize risk to participants and encourage honesty

Applied for and received Institutional Review Board exempt status  

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Every resident had an opportunity to participate

Because no identifying information was collected

Incentive offered  

Five randomly drawn participants received $50 April 27, 2011 Walmart gift cards


Survey Design  

 

Primary research question: Do residents’ perceptions and concerns regarding their local environment differ based on their residential proximity to industrial poultry facilities? Content:          

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Personal (age & gender of respondent) Household (own/rent, # adults/children, years of residence, farming) Water (well water, recreational water use, septic system) Air (indoor AC, smoking, outdoor air, odors, soil) Environmental concern (human health & community ecology) April 27, 2011


Survey Instrument

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Environmental factor

“Concern” response (Likert-style scales)

Environment affects community ecology

Extremely / Moderately concerned

Odors

Always / Sometimes

Environment affects family health

Extremely / Moderately concerned

Streams look or smell unpleasant

Agree / Strongly Agree

Recreational water contact safe

Disagree / Strongly disagree

Well water safe to drink

Disagree / Strongly disagree

Outdoor air safe to breathe

Disagree / Strongly disagree

Soil contact safe

Disagree / Strongly disagree

  27 questions, a few with multiple parts

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Survey Map

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Methods: Data Analysis   Evaluated

percent response for each question overall and by zone   Difference in response by zone was determined by logistic regression, comparing each zone to the reference, Zone D   Odds ratios describes the likelihood of a response in one zone compared to the reference 13

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Results   Existing

water quality data   Survey results

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Total phosphorus concentration (mg/L)

CWQAL results example: Phosphorus concentration

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CWQAL results example: Phosphorus trend

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Median phosphorous concentration plotted by time (2000-2010) with linear regression line showing trend (p = 0.13).

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Survey Response Total mailed Percent returned undeliverable Total received by recipients (deliverable) Total # of surveys returned Postcards submitted for incentive drawing Response rate for surveys based on revised total

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1690 4.4% 1616 459 396 28.4%

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Response by Zone

Zone A (1) B (2) C (3) D (4) Not given 18

Number of surveys received 60 141 154 98 6

Approx. % of total % of total geographic area sampled 13% 13% 31% 36% 34% 34% 21% 17% 1% April 27, 2011


Demographics

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Average age:

55

Median age:

54

Min age:

20

Max age:

97

Percent female:

44%

Percent own:

98%

Average # adults:

2.2

Average # children:

0.54

Average # of years lived in home:

18.5

Min years in home:

0.03

Max years in home:

67

Percent who farm: Percent of those who farm who also raise livestock:

25% 39%

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Results  

Demographic and objective factors that did NOT differ statistically by zone Age of respondent   Gender of respondent   Number of years lived in the home   Number of well tests past 5 years   Use of water softener/filter   Use of air filter   Members of household smoke   Smoking allowed inside home  

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Results Average age of respondent (no statistical difference by zone) 56 55 54

Average age

53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 A

21

B

C Zone of home

D

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Results Average years of residence in home (no statistical difference by zone) 22 20 18

Average # of years

16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 A

22

B

C Zone of home

D

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Results   Demographic

and objective factors that DIFFER by zone (p<0.05)   Presence

of children in household   Ownership vs. renting   Farming   Type of septic system   Type/presence of air conditioning 23

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Results   Only

41% of respondents had their drinking water well tested at least once in the past 5 years. EPA recommends testing wells every year   Less than 3% of households who responded have tested their well 5 or more times in the past 5 years  

  Well

testing did not differ by zone (p>0.05)

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6% 18%

7%

Results

9%

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree

19%

Strongly Agree

Well water is safe to drink?

Don't Know

(No difference by zone (p>0.05)

41%

20 18 16

Percent response

14 12 10 Disagree 8

Strongly Disagree

6 4 2 0 A

25

B

C Zone of home

D

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Results   14%

of households reported using the streams of the Bokes Creek watershed recreationally Households that farm and those with children were more likely to report recreational use of streams   55% of these households report recreational water contact for both adults and children  

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3%

7%

19% 18%

Results

Strongly Disagree Disagree No opinion Agree Strongly Agree

Recreational water contact is safe 53%

40 35

OR = 3.5*

OR = 3.2*

Percent response

30 25

OR = 1.8*

20 Disagree

15

Strongly Disagree 10 5 0 A

B

C

D

Zone of home

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7%

3% 18%

Results

20% Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

Streams of Bokes Creek watershed look or smell unpleasant 45

52%

OR = 2.1*

40

Percent response

35 30 25 Agree

20

Strongly Agree 15 10 5 0

28

A

B

C Zone of home

D

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11%

3%

10% 6%

Results

19%

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree Don't Know

Outdoor air is safe to breathe 35

51%

OR = 7.3*

30

Percent response

25

OR = 3.4*

20

Disagree

15

Strongly Disagree

10

5

0 A

29

B

C Zone of home

D

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4% 22%

Results

Always 41%

Sometimes Rarely Never

Odors adversely affect quality of life 33% 80

OR = 9.9*

70

OR = 4.7*

Percent response

60 50 40 Sometimes Always

30 20 10 0

30

A

B

C Zone of home

D

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1% 5% 20%

Results

22% Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

Contact with the soil around my home is safe 52% 20 18

OR = 12.2*

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Percent response

14 12 10 Disagree 8

Strongly Disagree

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@ Note: OR is adjusted for the effect of farming, which has an OR of 0.18 in the model

4 2 0

31

A

B

C Zone of home

D

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18% 31%

Results

Extremely concerned Moderately concerned Slightly concerned 22%

Not concerned

Environment affects community ecology 29%

90 80

OR = 4.1* OR = 2.5*

Percent response

70 60 50

Moderately concerned

40

Extremely concerned 30

@ Note: ORs are adjusted for the effect of septic type and own/rent status in the model

20 10

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0

32

A

B

C Zone of home

D


21% 29%

Results

Extremely concerned Moderately concerned Slightly concerned 19%

Not concerned

Environment affects family health 80

31%

OR = 3.1* OR = 2.3*

70

Percent response

60 50 40 Moderately concerned Extremely concerned

30 20

@ Note: ORs are adjusted for the effect of septic type in the model

10 0

33

A

B

C Zone of home

D

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Preliminary Conclusions Relative environmental concern across factors

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Environmental factor

“Concern” response

% “No opinion” or “Don’t know”

% reporting concern

Environment affects community ecology

Extremely / Moderately concerned

N/A

60%

Odors

Always / Sometimes

N/A

45%

Environment affects family health

Extremely / Moderately concerned

N/A

40%

Streams look or smell unpleasant

Agree / Strongly Agree

52% no opinion

27%

Recreational water contact safe

Disagree / Strongly disagree

53% no opinion

25%

Well water safe to drink

Disagree / Strongly disagree

9% no opinion 18% don’t know

13%

Outdoor air safe to breathe

Disagree / Strongly disagree

6% no opinion 11% don’t know

13%

Soil contact safe

Disagree / Strongly disagree

22% no opinion

6% April 27, 2011


Preliminary Conclusions Response rate of 28.4% is good but calls into question representativeness and potential bias   Among respondents, concern over environmental health is widespread  

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Odors were of greatest overall concern   60% reported concern over community ecology   40% reported concern over family’s health

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Preliminary Conclusions  

Resident concern about the environment increased with closeness to poultry operations (except well-water quality)  

Most pronounced (zone A compared to D) •  Soil (OR = 12.2) •  Odors (OR = 9.9)

Drinking water wells are under-tested   Recreational contact with Bokes Creek is not uncommon and warrants further investigation  

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Acknowledgements   Survey

participants   Union County Commissioners   Stakeholders who have met with us, answered questions, and provided data for this project

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Thank you.   Discussion:   How

can we keep stakeholder group together and identify future opportunities for finding solutions to environmental and health issues?   Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – Health Impact Assessment   Questions? This presentation and the final study report are available online: http://cph.osu.edu/biopage2.cfm?id=10 Ohio Non-point Source Success Stories – Bokes Creek Water Quality Enhancement Project (Oxbow Stream Restoration & OEPA)


Union County presentation 4/27