DAILY WISCONSIN

Environment

Thirst 

Just to give an approximation for the purposes of visualization: A gallon of water weighs 8.36 pounds and a typical semi-tanker can hold about 6000 gallons of water legal weight for transport.

So after doing the math for 7 million gallons per day that would mean the equivalent of looking at over 1,100 semi tankers of water. Of course they’re not trucking it but it gives you an idea to visualize the magnitude. Every day.

As an example, if you went to park 1,100 semi tankers end to end they would stretch for over 14 miles. Looked at another way, if you jammed them all together with no space between them in the most compact parking area you would need a lot that is almost 4 miles by 4 miles or almost 16 square miles.

Via The Political Environment: Foxconn’s diversion = Every day, 1,100 water tanker trucks. In 14-mile line.

Unquenchable 

But serious objections to the diversion’s wisdom and legality under the Great Lakes Compact were raised by citizens at a public hearing earlier this month.

Additional objections across the Great Lakes region were mentioned in this non-partisan media report; I also wrote that some objections are amplified by Walker’s damage to Wisconsin’s environment and his debasement of the Department of Natural Resources – – the state agency which will review and can approve the Foxconn diversion application, all discussed here:

the heavily-resisted push for a Lake Michigan diversion for Foxconn adds to Wisconsin’s status as a Great Lakes environmental outlier.

Via The Political Environment: NY, Illinois raise questions about Foxconn bid for Lake Michigan water.

Add 26,000 hogs, stir, then marinate

I’ve made the point earlier, as have activists and local residents, repeatedly, but these brief paragraphs towards the end of a news story summarizing the damage and deaths from last week’s heavy rains in Northwest Wisconsin….underscore the madness of proposing to Scott Walker’s “chamber-of-commerce-mentality” Department of Natural Resources the approval for a 26,000-hog feeding and manure storage operation within smelling and polluting distance of Lake Superior, Chequamegon Bay and numerous wells providing drinking water and economic life to the entire Northwoods region

Via The Political Environment: NW WI flood washes away argument for 26,000-hog CAFO.

Clean Water Gets a Win 

In a victory for this case, [Clean Water, Inc. and Lynda A. Cochart v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources et al (Wisconsin Case No. 2015CV002633)], we are pleased to share the July 14, 2016 Circuit Court [Judge John W. Markson’s] decision that affirms the petitioners’ and partner organization Clean Wisconsin’s argument before the court that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ rejection of the Division of Hearings and Appeals’ Administrative Law Judge’s order to include animal unit limits and off-site groundwater monitoring of Kewaunee County CAFO was unlawful. This decision also describes how the Department of Justice’s narrow interpretation of Act 21 – that the DNR did not have explicit authority to impose these permit conditions – was incorrect and that state statutes do empower the DNR to require limits and monitoring of pollution in order for permitees to comply with state and federal clean water laws.

Read the full Circuit Court decision (PDF).

Via MAL Contends . . .: Wisc Court Hits State DoJ and Factory Farm Polluters in Win for Clean and Safe Water Advocates.

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.

Plain Talk: State of environmental protection would upset Gaylord Nelson

A recent story in the Wisconsin State Journal described how the current leadership of the DNR is hurriedly putting together a reorganization of the department that many fear will reduce the department’s ability to keep tabs on potential polluters. That is coming on top of several laws passed in the state Legislature’s most recent session that will harm our state’s waters.

And that’s on top of a gradual reduction in DNR staff, including educators and foresters, and decimation of the department’s Science Bureau. And that’s still on top of the Walker administration’s directive to the DNR to sell off some of the land preserved by the Knowles-Nelson fund.

Via Plain Talk: State of environmental protection would upset Gaylord Nelson @ madison.com.

Central Wisconsin Citizens Oppose Massive Factory Farm

The Golden Sands Dairy is widely opposed and imperils a wold class golf resort in northern Adams county, property home valuations, and surface waters and acquirers in a four-county region looking for recreational and tourism investments.

Citizens have been opposing the proposed CAFO since plans were first announced in 2012.

Via MAL Contends . . .: Central Wisconsin Citizens Begin Petition Opposing Massive Factory Farm.

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

Environmental defense

Citizen groups are calling for protection and cultivation of the natural resources to fill in the void left by a paper industry that is but a shadow of past decades.

Venal hi jinx at the Wisconsin capitol by the local state legislator will not stop a growing citizens’ movement from promoting their community, a common effort right as Scott Walker and Republicans remove state money from the state park system and call for higher fees in the last budget, (Dee J. Hall).

Via MAL Contends . . .: Wisconsin Citizens Promote Their Communites in Face of Legislative Betrayal.

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.

Lead, Carrying Drinking Water

Experts, and even some regulators, say existing laws are failing to protect Wisconsin and the nation from harmful exposure to lead in drinking water that leaches from aging plumbing — a danger illustrated by the public health crisis in Flint, Michigan.

At least 176,000 so-called lead service lines connect older Wisconsin homes to the iron water mains that deliver municipal water, according to an estimate by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Milwaukee alone, where 60 percent of the state’s known lead-poisoned children live, has 70,000 lead service lines.

Via Lead pipes, antiquated law threaten Wisconsin’s drinking water quality @ WCIJ.

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 Threatens Tourism

“Opponents of a proposed massive factory farm sited in Wood and Adams counties are working on several fronts to stop the proposed Wycocki CAFO or Concentrated (Confined) Agricultural Feeding Operation in the Town of Saratoga. One campaign has citizen groups reaching out to promote the tourism and and recreational potential of the region, located at…

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…

Big Ag Issues Its Demands

Big Agriculture demanding full control of water through new state laws to be enacted by Republicans, anOctober 5 press releasereads, and orders.

The brazen nature of the October 5 press release reflects the mentality of Big Agriculture in Wisconsin.

They demand “certainty” from the Republican legislators they finance, and they want their right to aquifers enshrined in law, while Big Ag plays the victim and gets its way in the DNR now in a pretension Big Ag does not already own Republican legislators, the DNR and Scott Walker.

As for the Wisconsin families who live here, (not in gated communities far from the industrialized, polluting operations like CAFO owner James Wysocki), most would be happy if Big Ag would just leave Wisconsin.

Via Big Ag Orders GOP Lawmakers and Court: We Want All Water and Right to Pollute @ MAL Contends…