Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DNR Won't Order Well-Testing In Human Waste Spreading Zone

Scott Walker's "chamber-of-commerce-mentality" DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp (his choice, his words) tells Jefferson County residents whose wells are close to where a septic tank service spread an unverifiable amount of human waste they've got nothing to worry about - - and will not require the company that mucked up the area to test the wells for contamination.

How reassured would you be with that level of regulation [Sic], were you to live downwind, downstream or within sniffing distance? Would you drink to this?

People who live near the fields remain concerned because there is considerable uncertainty about how much waste was spread. The DNR investigation showed Herr Environmental provided three sets of records for its operations in 2009 and 2010, each with a different tally of acreage and volume of waste spread, each revised so the company appeared closer to compliance. The final set, which showed the company to be in compliance, could not be substantiated, according to the DNR investigation.
Earlier today, I'd said at the Journal Sentinel's Purple Wisconsin platform that the decision by the DNR to approach the waste hauler with kid gloves was a metaphor for the Walker administration. 
Scott Walker served up a defining metaphor for state voters when his DNR settled on a wrist slap to the septic tank service operator who spread large amounts of human waste on Jefferson County land near residential wells.

Clean water is not a Walker priority, despite the Public Trust Doctrine, embedded in the state constitution, which says the DNR has an obligation to protect state waters because they belong to all the people - - not to private interests that would fill our wetlands, encroach on streams, and use river banks as toxic tailing dumps when mountain tops are scraped away.

Walker, along with the brothers Fitzgerald, pushed an iron mining bill drafted behind closed doors that threatened the headwaters and rice-growing estuaries of the Bad River Band in Northern Wisconsin's Penokee Hills - - a bill that nearly won approval and carried the same stamp of originating secrecy that accompanied the crafting of the GOP plan and bill that redrew voting boundaries across the state.

This administration has been laying down sludge from Day One, and aims to retain power through the infusion of record sums of out-of-state, special-interest cash inundating the airwaves and contaminating the political environment as Walker and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald fend off the recall movement.

Wisconsin needs to scrub off the muck.

The political and environmental cleanup can begin June 5th.


Geo said...

If I were the Barrett campaign I'd offer to pay for an independent water test of a sampling of local wells. If someone accused them of playing politics I'd agree it was politically motivated but that its only an issue because the DNR is being run by GOP ideologues not scientists as it is supposed to be.

Sue said...

I don't know if that area tends to vote Republican or Democrat, but I sincerely hope everyone out that way votes for their own interests next week.

Anonymous said...

Septic waste becomes treated after three feet of being absorbed into the soil. The wells I'm sure are more than 120 feet. Very unlikely to get contaiminated from the septage. Your more likely to have contamination from a bug getting into the well cap.