Saturday, July 16, 2016

NW WI flood washes away argument for 26,000-hog CAFO

[Updated, 7/16/16] I've made the point earlier, as have activists and local residents, repeatedly, but these brief paragraphs towards the end of a news story summarizing the damage and deaths from last week's heavy rains in Northwest Wisconsin - - 

- - underscore the madness of proposing to Scott Walker's "chamber-of-commerce-mentality" Department of Natural Resources the approval for a 26,000-hog feeding and manure storage operation within smelling and polluting distance of Lake Superior, Chequamegon Bay and numerous wells providing drinking water and economic life to the entire Northwoods region:
The Department of Health Services issued a warning on Friday to residents and cleanup crews in the affected area to use extreme caution while assessing damage or removing debris, because of the many health risks. 
Flood waters can contain raw sewage, fertilizer, gasoline, pesticides and other harmful substances, so people should not swim, bathe or wade in lakes, streams or any other waters affected by the flooding...
Water wells could also be contaminated, so well owners with flooding near the well should assume the well is contaminated and not use water from it until the floodwaters recede and the well had been disinfected and tested.
Additionally, climate change science indicates that storm events are changing - - so when will Wisconsin TV forecasters expand their horizons and those of their viewers - -  because this won't be the last major rain to fall on NW Wisconsin.

Remember when nearby Duluth just across the state border got a record-breaking rain in 2012, the once-every-100-years storm it had not seen since 1909?

It only took four years for Duluth to have another 100-year storm - - the same one that flooded Wisconsin just across the border last week.

And I've noted on my blog several times that I attended while serving on Milwaukee Mayor John O. Norquist's staff a US EPA seminar in Chicago during the George W. Bush presidency where municipal officials were urged to boost their infrastructure planning and spending because global warming was going to produce heavier rain events and a new normal for which cities, villages and towns were unprepared.

7/16/16 Update - - Here is more relevant data:

Extreme rainfall events such as this are becoming more common and more intense as the world warms
Climate change contributes to increased flooding because warmer air holds more water, leading to stronger and more frequent precipitation events.

In the upper Midwest region of the US—an area that includes Wisconsin and Minnesota—extreme precipitation has increased 37 percent from 1958 to 2012.[9]
A November 2013 study analyzing extreme precipitation trends in Wisconsin from 1950 through 2006 finds that storms in the 99th percentile—the heaviest 1 percent of all storms—show the strongest increasing trend across the largest area, whereas less extreme storms generally show a decrease.[10] 

This is consistent with the physics of what we'd expect in a warming world. A warmer atmosphere that holds more water will also dump more water when it rains.

Moving forward, a study assessing the effects of climate change on precipitation and flood damage in Wisconsin finds that heavy 24-hour storms (with rainfall totals likely to happen just once every 100 years) will increase by 11 percent across the state by the mid-21st century.[11]


Barb Cunningham said...

WATER is LIFE!!! You cannot eat nor DRINK money!

Anonymous said...

To walkerites, more manure and urine means more goodness and more reasons to vote for walker.

my5cents said...

Personally, we do not need any stinking CAFO's in Wisconsin. That's not a healthy way to raise livestock.