Published on February 20, 2014
We use the power of the law to support grassroots groups working for environmental justice in the Western Great Lakes region
"Conservation must have continuity of purpose and policy, and freedom from interference by political control or manipulation.” For almost 70 years, Wisconsin’s Secretary was appointed by the seven citizen members of the Natural Resources Board. The idea of an independent conservation agency was originally established by Aldo Leopold in1927.
Governor Tommy Thompson ended the 70-year history of an independent DNR and abolished the Public Intervenor Office in 1995 Melissa Scanlan, MEA’s founder, while still in law school, became determined to restore access to legal and technical services to the people of Wisconsin
Governor Jim Doyle, Democrat vetoes bill to free the DNR from political pressure, even though he campaigned on returning the selection of DNR Secretary to citizen board 2009
Citizens have taken on the costs and burdens of protecting public health while special interest politics diminishes the autonomy and resources available to DNR professional staff
Industrial Livestock Facilities, or CAFOs, are NOT farms Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation
http://www.frontiergroup.org/sites/default/files/reports/The% 20Power%20to%20Pollute.pdf Wisconsin Environment Report: The Power to Pollute
Industry, DNR & DATCP pushing aerial manure spraying Citizens led two local bans of the practice in Rosendale, Fond du Lac Co. Johnstown, Rock Co. Most Citizens assume their government protects their health
“According to a report published by the National Association of Local Boards of Health animal manure contains 160 pathogens that are capable of causing disease or infection in animals or humans, affecting the respiratory and digestive systems, muscles and skin with chills and fever, itching and rashes, fatigue and weakness, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, headache, abdominal pain and cramping and other debilitating symptoms and illnesses.” American Lung Association letter to DNR, DATCP & DHS
Livestock Facility Siting Law Governor Jim Doyle signed into law in 2003 Virtually eliminates local control of where CAFOs can be built A local government must enact a siting ordinance to even gain access to the uniform state standards of the Siting Law and may not pass more stringent conditions 1)Location of livestock structures 2)Odor and air emissions 3)Nutrient Management 4)Waste storage facilities 5)Runoff management
Citizens across Wisconsin opposed the loss of local control, but industrial ag special interests clogged elected officials ears with money
CAFO manure contains a variety of potential contaminants. It can contain plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, pathogens such as E. coli, growth hormones, antibiotics, chemicals used as additives to the manure or to clean equipment, animal blood, silage leachate from corn feed, or copper sulfate used in footbaths for cows. Excerpt from CDC Study http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/docs/understanding_cafos_nalboh.pdf
http://www.unmc.edu/rural/documents/cafo-report.pdf Nebraska Center for Rural Health Research
The highest concentration of CAFO dairies in the world is in counties around Green Bay Central Sands area targeted for new CAFOs The two most inappropriate places in WI to dump untreated animal waste
The carrying capacity of land in the areas of Wisconsin where drinking water is most at risk are the places where the most untreated animal waste is being land spread
New and Expanding CAFOs threaten many communities across Wisconsin The Central Sands and counties around Green Bay have the highest concentrations of industrial livestock operations Citizens Speak Out at public hearing on “Golden Sands” a proposed industrial dairy in the Town of Saratoga, Wood County http://www.protectwoodcounty.org/
Central Sands Region, and area suffering from overirrigation, is under threat from proposals for what would be the largest CAFOs in Wisconsin
Massive quantities of untreated, liquid animal waste is spread on KARST topography, characterized by thin soils over fractured bedrock
Gordon Stevenson, retired DNR Chief on Non-Point Runoff “Industrial dairies in Wisconsin create as much waste as the human populations of Tokyo and Mexico City” “there is little to no meaningful regulation of the impact of CAFOs on public health or the environment”
February 5, 2014 http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659496.pdf GAO Recommends Clean Water Act Regulate Farm Discharges A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released Jan. 13 states that the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program would be more effective if the Clean Water Act included mandatory pollution controls for agriculture. Based on historical funding and restoration rates, GAO points out that the time required to address water quality impairments associated with nonpoint source pollution would be greater than 1,000 years. http://stormwater.wef.org/2014/02/gao-report-recommends-clean-water-act-regulatefarm-discharges/
One CAFO dairy produces as much as 100 million gallons of animal waste each year. The untreated waste is then spread on fields. One dairy cow produces the waste of 18 humans. Kewaunee County has 16 CAFOs
Citizen Scientists in Kewaunee County have taken on the task of monitoring pollution when their government can’t or won’t do. Photo of water samples upstream and downstream from a factory farm
Where does all the manure go? Over 50% of tested wells in the Town of Lincoln in Kewaunee County are unsafe for human consumption
Lynda Cochart is one of the courageous citizens fighting for clean water. Her family has farmed Kewaunee County for 5 generations Lynda and her neighbors waited two years for a hearing to challenge the issuance of a permit that allowed a CAFO to double in size even though area wells are already polluted
The Treml family almost lost their daughter when she was exposed to Ecoli from their well in Lincoln Township in 2004
What can I do? Lynn Henning is a farmer and citizen leader fighting CAFOs in Michigan for many years. She’s lost significant lung capacity from exposure to harmful air pollutants while monitoring CAFOs. Every aspect of daily life is impacted by families living near CAFOs
Oppose Groundwater Privatization Bills AB679 & SB302 This proposed law tells DNR they can’t use sound science when managing our groundwater
Citizen Voices Matter
Stand with your neighbors Vote with your Fork Buy Local, Sustainably Produced
Ordinary people play an important role in protecting the rights of future generations to clean air, land and water. We are motivated by love of family– not special interests or dark money.
www.midwestadvocates.org /MidwestEnvironmentalAdvocates @MidwestAdvocate
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