Tuesday, June 30, 2015

On massive hog farm, WI DNR playing by rules. So far.

[Updated] I'd been posting this year about a massive hog farm proposed in the Lake Superior watershed not far from where a giant iron-ore mine plan fell through because the area was always known to be saturated with lakes, streams, rivers and groundwater.

I'd been hearing that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, despite its management by Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality," would opt for the full Environmental Impact Statement review process when examining the operator's application because the DNR didn't want to tick off the same coalition of Ojibwe, environmental, recreational and small business opponents which rose up and helped kill the mine.

Besides, Walker is about to announce for President, and Walker The Hog Manure King doesn't have a nice ring to it, even in Iowa, America's Pork Producer.

My sources were correct, though note the scope of the proposal:
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that it will require a full environmental impact study of a proposal for a huge pig farm in Bayfield County. 
The operation would house about 7,500 sows, 18,750 pigs, and 100 boars in three barns with concrete manure storage structures located under each barn, to provide more than 180 days of liquid manure storage, according to a DNR summary of plans.
Note also that Walker's DR has had a very tolerant approach to manure and other fecal overflows, fining one farmer $464 for a one-million gallon spill,  and giving another egregious polluter a slap on the wrist after political appointees intervened and kept his case of wrongful human waste spreading on farm fields near residential wells from being forwarded to the Attorney General's office for prosecution.

And a huge dairy cattle feeding operation has been polluting the groundwater in NE Wisconsin because of "massive regulatory failure," according to the administrative law judge hearing a recent case brought against the DNR by a citizen group.

More about that case at the website of Midwest Environmental Advocates, the non-profit public interest law firm which forced the DNR to do the job the agency should have been doing for the people.

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