In a Green Bay hearing beginning Tuesday, a controversial attempt to expand a dairy farm set to become the fifth largest in Wisconsin will be challenged in a case that could have a far-reaching impact on how Wisconsin regulates industrial-size livestock farms.
Two bonus features supplementing last week’s major package on estrogenic wells in Wisconsin’s karst region.
Private well owners are not required to test their water quality. Yet the Division of Public Health urges well owners to test because so many wells are contaminated.
In one of the most intensively farmed parts of America’s Dairyland, where 29 percent of the county’s private wells test unsafe due to bacteria or nitrates, residents have a new concern: estrogenic well water.
“A well-managed place is not going to get manure into the groundwater,” said Laurence Shore, a physiologist in Israel who studies the fate of hormones in the environment. With a video tour of an anaerobic digester at the two-dairy, 8,000-cow Holsum Dairies in Calumet County.
Center reporters Kate Golden and Kate Prengaman chat about what it was like reporting their recent story on groundwater concerns in Wisconsin’s Central Sands.
“Long Lake was once a trophy bass lake. So when we moved here, in the first two years, my boys were catching bass like crazy,” said Brian Wolf, who owns a cabin on Long Lake. “It was like catching fish in a barrel as the water declined.”
While experts say the Little Plover is the poster child for the problems of overpumping, some of them hope it also could be the source of solutions.
Minnesota researchers have found endocrine disruptors in nearly every lake they’ve tested.
Endocrine disruptors have been called a “global threat” to people and wildlife, but Wisconsin is lagging behind Minnesota in testing its waters for them.
Competing studies are under way to assess air pollution from Wisconsin’s frac sand industry, and the author of one said current state law isn’t protecting people well enough. A separate study, meanwhile, will examine the impact of frac sand mines on water.