Via Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune:
Some Wood County officials are hoping to enlist help from state lawmakers to address concerns about water and air pollution in central Wisconsin.
“We’re trying to influence state legislation,” Wood County Board member Bill Leichtnam said.
Leichtnam is among several board members and numerous citizens concerned about the prospect of a proposed large-scale dairy farm in Saratoga, including its use of high-capacity wells and the potential for manure run-off and groundwater contamination.
State law principally regulates water quality and does not give explicit authority to counties to do the same, according to Wood County lawyer Peter Kastenholz.
But that’s where Leichtnam sees an opportunity: He hopes to set up meetings with members of the Republican-controlled state Legislature to advocate for regulations that ensure water and air are protected from pollution of any sort.
The proposed farm, which would be called Golden Sands Dairy, is slated to have 5,300 cows and is expected to produce 55 million gallons of liquid manure each year, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It could have as many as 33 high-capacity wells, each of which can draw more than 100,000 gallons of water a day and increasingly are used in agriculture to irrigate crops.