Citing a rash of contaminated wells, the groups point to manure from animal agriculture as the leading risk to the region’s drinking water supplies and therefore the health of residents — and say state and local authorities have not done enough. Continue Reading
“We’ve stopped improving our buildings in terms of health and safety and efficiency,” said Keith Reopelle of Clean Wisconsin.
The ordinance is intended to keep waste — including manure, plus industrial and human waste — from contaminating groundwater in particularly vulnerable areas.
The growth in large dairies, and concerns about manure disposal from operations of all sizes, have fueled efforts to more tightly regulate their operations or siting. Here’s a partial roundup.
Two weeks ago, Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Boldt approved the state Department of Natural Resources’ issuance of permits for a large and controversial dairy farm in Central Wisconsin. But he also reduced the amount of water the farm could pump from proposed high-capacity wells and required the DNR to consider the impact of the withdrawals in conjunction with other, nearby wells — a concept known as cumulative impacts. Continue Reading
A proposal to ban waste spreading in winter and early spring on fields with shallow soil is facing opposition from powerful agricultural interests and questions about its legality. Continue Reading
Two new studies of private well water in Kewaunee County have linked contamination to fertilizer, livestock manure and human waste. “In these shallow bedrock areas, what you put on the surface, you will end up drinking eventually,” county conservationist Andy Wallander said. Continue Reading