Many of our local residents stood up and made public comments at this hearing. Collectively our voices are making a difference. Keep the faith, we are making progress one victory at a time.

Via Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

The state Department of Natural Resources has backed off plans to relax a pollution standard for groundwater for a dairy farm undergoing a major expansion in central Wisconsin after opponents objected to the weaker limit.

The Adams County farm had come under criticism from neighbors and environmentalists who questioned why the DNR would ease pollution limits for a farmer who paid $65,000 in penalties for polluting groundwater in 2013.

On Tuesday, the DNR approved a permit for Burr Oak Heifers of Coloma to house 3,100 heifers. The cattle, in turn, will produce an estimated 3.32 million gallons of liquid manure and 45,900 tons of solid manure annually, according to agency figures.

The decision is the most recent involving a permit review of large-scale dairy farms in Wisconsin. New or expanding farms are inviting criticism from neighbors and environmentalists who raise objections about odors, traffic and potential threats to surface and groundwater.

But large-scale farms are on the rise in Wisconsin as some operators opt to expand to capitalize on efficiencies. Operators say they can manage manure without causing environmental harm.

The DNR said it would not impose a weaker alternative limit for nitrates in groundwater that the agency initially proposed. That limit was nearly three times higher than the state standard for safe drinking water.

Full Article

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