Tuesday, August 2, 2016

WI water quality news, and will Walker make us Flint 2.0?

A leading conservationist and expert in the high-profile battle to protect Wisconsin groundwater - - a fight now made even harder through blatant political interference by Gov. Walker's office on behalf of the very industrial-scale animal feeding operations at the heart of groundwater problems - - is calling it a day: 
Bill Schuster said this week he has “things to do” that don't involve the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department.
During an interview Thursday midway through his last day on the job, Schuster talked about his 37 years as Door County conservationist.
Separately, others environmental experts have pulled the plug on their conservationist careers at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as leadership and direction there enable the "chamber of commerce mentality" Walker installed.

The political interference and its consequences for clean water are so prominent in everyone's consciousness other than Walker's that his pro-manure move 

made it into media nearly 1,000 miles away.

In the Houston Chronicle, via the Wisconsin State Journal:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has scaled back proposed rules regulating factory farms' manure spreading amid complaints from the dairy industry... 
The DNR gave the [rules scoping] statements to Walker's office, which then handed them out to farm industry groups, including the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association and associations for cattlemen, pork producers and soybean, cranberry and vegetable farmers, Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said. 
Industry officials balked, saying the plan would be too costly...  
The DNR redrafted the scope statements to note the regulations would apply only to sensitive areas, which have yet to be defined...Walker approved the new scope statement on July 13, the same day the DNR submitted it to him.
Some experts see Wisconsin as Flint 2.0 - - like former DNR official Gordon Stevenson:
"We're arriving at an important crossroads in Wisconsin. We have our own version of Flint, Michigan in Kewaunee County where citizens cannot drink the water and we have our own version of the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone. A dead zone now also exists in Green Bay that runs from the City of Green Bay all the way up to Marinette."
Walker literally helping spread more cattle manure on top of the water table in NE Wisconsin near residential wells - - not to mention the 26,000-hog CAFO his DNR might approve near pristine Lake Superior in NW Wisconsin - - could give Bucky that toxic designation.


Man MKE said...

I continue to think that ginormous CAFO proposed for the Lake Superior watershed not only should be a state environmental issue, but a federal issue and also one for the Great Lakes Commission -- never minding whether it presently has the authority to do anything about it. We've got to raise an international ruckus or see the world's single greatest and largest body of relatively pure water turn into a muckhole, thanks to muck-about Walker and his band of merry grifters and polluters.

James Rowen said...

Agreed, especially since the area recently was hit by a historically-damaging flood which killed several people and wrecked the road network - - with more heavy rain events are predicted in climate change models.

Betsey said...

Yes James, with great arial, colorful PROOF of the flow route that carried red clay sediments into Fish Creek (not the one in Door County) and then into Chequamegon Bay, as well as other streams and rivers that flow to Lake Superior. As a result, we know EXACTLY what will happen and where the toxic waste will go. We don't just have to rely on the 'hysterical environmentalists' and
'tree huggers.'