In 2018, the agency overseeing Milwaukee’s system, which serves 1.1 million people and 28 communities, saw six combined sewer overflows, the most events since 1999. Those overflows sent 1.2 billion gallons of stormwater and untreated sewage into rivers, canals and a stream that drain into Lake Michigan.
Polluted waters, thriving CAFOs, failing smaller farms
Concentrated animal feeding operation winds up in court despite backing of Vos and Fitzgerald.
Moving garbage to add more garbage.
In fact, Wisconsin’s most recent wolf hunt as ordered up by the Legislature under the fast-tracked direction of then-State Rep. Joel Kleefisch showed precisely why it’s a bad idea to let states ‘manage’ wolf-hunting.
* What Wisconsin ‘managed’ in wolf hunts between 2012 and 2014 came complete with only-in-Wisconsin use of dogs in the hunt that made a mockery of animal cruelty law and standards.
* Not to mention with the participation of a state advisory panel stripped of nearly all its wolf-hunting opponents.
“It’s a new day in Wisconsin and it’s time to lead our state in a new direction where we embrace science, where we discuss the very real implications of climate change, where we work to find solutions, and where we invest in renewable energy,” said Gov. Evers. “By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, we will have support in demonstrating that we can take climate action while growing our economy at the same time.”
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.
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.
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:
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…
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.
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.”
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.
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.