DAILY WISCONSIN

Ecology

Animal Waste

Scientists are one step closer to understanding how dangerous contaminants from fecal matter are entering private wells in Kewaunee County. New research by U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist Mark Borchardt shows nitrate and coliform in the water mostly comes from agriculture — and not human waste.

“Where we see the strong relationships, the strong linkages, those are with agricultural factors. So that would suggest that agriculture is primarily responsible for those two contaminants,” he said in an interview

….

Borchardt’s study found that the No. 1 risk factor for contamination was the proximity of a well to a manure storage pit. Borchardt said the closest well in the study was 150 feet from a manure pit, but even wells three miles away still have some risk of being contaminated with coliform.

Via Most nitrate, coliform in Kewaunee County wells tied to animal waste @ WisconsinWatch.org.

DNR’s Latest Master Plan 

Meeting 300 miles from affected location —

“It just happened that the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Master Plan was ready for presentation to the board at the August meeting that was already scheduled for Ashland,” Dick said. “There have been similar reverse situations before where an NRB meeting was scheduled for Madison and items on the agenda were of concern for residents in other parts of the state.”

Via Concerns about the Lower Wisconsin River? Take them to Ashland @ madison.com.

How ‘Bout a Little Manure Runoff?

Last week’s major rains in Northwestern Wisconsin are sadly becoming more common, as there have been record floods in many areas of the state over the last 10 years (remember when I-94 was closed between Madison and Milwaukee for several days in 2008?). This makes it all the more critical to have drinking water kept clean and potential hazards such a manure runoff from CAFOs reduced.

Via Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse: Record rains shows problem with WisGOP’s condoning of pollution.

Radium-contaminated water

In 2014, the village of Sussex in southeast Wisconsin made a dismaying discovery. The radioactive element radium, a contaminant that occurs naturally in bedrock throughout the region, had seeped into two of its seven water wells.

It was not exactly a surprise. Radium has long been a problem in drinking water for dozens of Wisconsin communities from Green Bay to the Illinois border….

Via As wells go deeper, radium levels rise in state tap water @ WisconsinWatch.org

State Rep. Krug Meets Citizen Backlash 

I watched your entire performance on the floor. Suggesting we drill more HCWs (High Capacity Wells) to fill up dried-up lakes, such as Long Lake, to study the hydrology is ludicrous. There are 5 monitoring wells already in place around Long Lake, that could, and should, have been used to study the hydrology over the past few years, but NOTHING has been done with them. We don’t need to study the hydrology; all we need to do is take a drive around the perimeter of Long Lake, and the other Channel Lakes, and look at the proliferation of HCWs.

Via MAL Contends . . .: Citizen to State Rep. Scott Krug: YOU SOLD US OUT.

No Sting 

Packed into brains the size of a sesame seed, bees’ navigational systems enable them to locate and pollinate $55 million worth of Wisconsin crops annually.

But Wisconsin has become a hard place to be a bee.

The state’s honeybee colony die-off rates, among the highest in the nation, last year were around 60 percent. Beekeeper surveys show 15 percent is generally considered to be an acceptable loss rate.

Via Critics: State’s plan to save bees provides little protection from pesticides @ WisconsinWatch.org.

Not Just Michigan

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Michigan) is getting huge amount of lurid publicity for ignoring (indeed causing) the water crises in Flint, Michigan in which toxic lead was effectively vectored into the children and families of Flint, (Lederman, In These Times).

The coverage is spot-on, as Snyder now pushes back against the EPA efforts to mitigate a disaster.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has ignored (indeed caused) the water problem in Kewaunee, Juneau, Adams, Wood counties, inflicting the same polluter-friendly, anti-family health agenda he has pursued since he was elected….

Via Scott Walker Is as Bad as Michigan Gov in Abandoning Water Protection @ MAL Contends…

Factory Farm Plan Destroys Residential Home Market

Writes Cain-Carrell in her Facebook page:

This evening I spoke with a Saratoga resident that has their home up for sale. Shortly after listing the home, they received a full price offer. They accepted. The realtor disclosed a little info on the CAFO to the buyer from Illinois and [their] family backed out. Every perspective buyer LOVES the home and feels its 300K + price tag is a fair price … BUT HAVE NO INTEREST IN LIVING NEAR THE PROPOSED GOLDEN SANDS DAIRY. Wysocki Companies, you have no right to hold our community hostage!!! GO AWAY & STAY AWAY.

Via Proposed Industrialized Farm Kills $300,000 Home Sale in Wood County @ MAL Contends . . .

Factory Farmers Demand Water for Spraying Cow Manure

SB 291 is the end game of Republican strategy to pose as protectors of groundwater while directing the newly polluter-friendly Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) to expedite permits for high-capacity wells drawing more than 100,000 gallons of groundwater a day.

Krug’s spin is reported in a largely uncritical piece by Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on October 9.

The water is used by industrialized agriculture (Concentrated (Confined) Agricultural Feeding Operations) and other large industrialized agricultural corporations combining the water with cow manure and sending back into the environment millions of gallons of liquid and aerialized cow manure with often tragic health and environmental consequences.

Via Scott Krug’s Betrayal—Sponsors Bill to Plunder Groundwater @ MAL Contends…

Aerial Spraying of Manure

Central Sands Dairy gets to –

  • Spray in winds up to 15mph (because odors and mists fall to the ground at 14mph)
  • Self-monitor and self-report (WI’s water problems clearly indicate how well that works)
  • Spray in an area which has groundwater contamination so high in nitrates, the irrigation wells are considered a “major source of nutrients” (Hail to Irony!)
  • Well test for only one year (then…eh…we’ll see)
  • Self-monitor with two-hour observation intervals (please, have you read the Rap Sheets?  Years of reports are missing from WPDES Permit files and they still re-issue a permit every five years…there is no incentive to drive 55 when the cops are never around)
  • Shoot shit out of an end gun but only during the day (because they did not like “preliminary findings” the Workgroup research provided)
  • Spray at night (when there are no UV rays to kill pathogens and it is highly unlikely you will be able to observe equipment in the dark )

– DNR Approval document submitted by GOP-connected Michael Best and Friedrich LLP on behalf on Central Sands can be seen at Restore Kewaunee. –

Via Polluters Get Green Light, Manure Dumping Expedited @ MAL Contends…

Water

“The Obama administration is expected in the coming days to announce a major clean water regulation that would restore the federal government’s authority to limit pollution in the nation’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands. Environmentalists have praised the new rule, calling it an important step that would lead to significantly cleaner natural bodies of water…

What’s in your water?

Soon after Walker took over and ordered the Wisconsin DNR to behave with a “chamber of commerce mentality,” the Legislature followed suit with a bill than unwound years of citizen/industry cooperation by greatly extending the time frame for the removal of waterway-choking, algae-feeding phosphorus chemical discharge pollution. Via Quickie hearing 5/12 presages even slower WI…

Dead Zones

Runoff is the state’s most serious water pollution problem. In Green Bay, pollutants from farm fields and other sources have helped create a dead zone, an area so low in oxygen that it can’t support most aquatic life. Via Scott Walker's budget cuts $5.7 million from runoff pollution remedies @ JSOnline.