'Protect the state natural resources'

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A dairy business lobby is going to court demanding they be freed from Wisconsin's requirement that large animal operations, meaning for than 1,000 animals, no longer undergo permitting scrutiny as to how they would dispose of the millions of gallons of manure that they produce. If the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association prevails large dairy and cattle feeding operations wouldn't need approval from the DNR as to how they handle the manure they generate. Conceivably, their actions could pollute lakes, streams and drinking water wells before anyone is aware or could take action to stop it.

They are hoping to have the regulatory authority stripped from the DNR and given to counties that have less staff and expertise in the management of animal waste than the DNR which is itself grossly understaffed. With the DNR gone the counties would be the only entity to both permit and monitor CAFCO's manure storage and disposal systems using less demanding local ordinances than the power of state rules.

Gov. Walker and his Republican legislature have already given these CAFCOs unlimited access to ground water through the use and expansion of high capacity wells that have been shown to lower the levels of lakes, streams, wetlands and drinking water wells by kneecapping the DNR's ability to regulate the damage these wells can produce. Pathogens from poorly managed manure have already been found in drinking water wells and after rains in lakes and rivers.

When will Gov. Walker and his Republican legislators step up to protect the citizens of this state and the resources that belong to all of us from the ravages imposed by industries that have no regard for the well being of its neighbors nor the health of our environment but only the profits they can earn? When is enough, enough?

Jerry Hanson

Elkhorn

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