Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jefferson County Residents Angered At Human Waste Dumping There

[originally posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 10:56 pm.] Their lands had been been used as an open air toilet, so who could blame the good people in and around the Town of Concord for showing up Monday night at a Town board meeting to vent their anger over the disclosure that human waste had been spread on near their wells - - and with minimal enforcement action by the DNR after-the fact, reports the Jefferson Daily Union:

I believe this is an outrage, plain and simple," said Scott Michalak, who is candidate for the 38th state Assembly District.

The outrage was sparked by a May 6 Wisconsin State Journal report that Governor Scott Walker's chief environmental appointees put as many as 40 families at risk of drinking water contaminated with human waste to help a political donor...

The DOJ could have imposed fines of tens of thousands of dollars, the State Journal reported. Instead, Gunderson decided to ask Waukesha and Jefferson counties to issue five citations against Herr Environmental and fine the company $4,338, which is the minimum forfeiture for the permit violations.

"I feel that, as a citizen, with Herr Industries dumping at three times the normal rate, somebody ought to be held accountable," Michalak said during the town board meeting Monday.

"I think this should have been taken directly to the Department of Justice and I believe those wells need to be tested," he said. "A lot of homeowners right now don't even know if their wells are contaminated. I'm here tonight to work with this board ... with anything we can do to help those people with homes (affected)."

Town Chairperson Bill Ingersoll reiterated part of Michalak's remarks, saying that the board's focus right now is the people.

"We have to decide whether there is immediate danger to your drinking water," said Ingersoll.
This entire episode brings to mind what US District Court Judge J.P. Stadtmueller said during the recent redistricting trial to lawyers for the state:
...we have had enough of the charade and mischaracterization. I don't mean to impugn either you or anyone associated with this case, but as they say, the facts are the facts. What has occurred here is beyond the pale in terms of lack of transparency, secrecy, and at the end of the day, as the court has commented earlier, it may not have anything to do with the price of tea in China, but appearances are everything, and Wisconsin has prided itself for one generation after another on openness and fairness and doing the right thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At the meeting they encouraged people to sample their wells and then later they will ask DNR to reimburse them. I don't think DNR will do that. Generally you have to go through their contracts if they are going to pay for well sampling.