Friday, November 18, 2016

Walker evades clean drinking water law

Classic Scott Walker dodge:

Just as he tossed out last-minute, ineffective and insincere 'solutions' to voting obstruction he'd caused with suppressionist legislation because spot-on lawsuits and a US District Court Judge were breathing down his neck, Walker has made an ineffective and insincere proposal to 'resolve' feedlot runoff and contamination in rural wells because the US Environmental Protection Agency is gearing up after citizen complaints to call out Walker for five years of intentional, special-interest obeisant non-compliance with the US Clean Water Act.

Walker has rushed out a thin proposal for the building of private sector manure digesters which can turn animal waste into recoverable natural gas - - though one such operation in Dane County was stalled by an explosion and overflow problems - - and routine, big-project delays in construction of more digesters will do nothing for those in Kewaunee County and elsewhere whose well water contamination is a health hazard right now.

Long-known, and much-publicized, while Walker & Co. let it fester.

What the stubborn, anti-federal government-admit-no-error Walker won't do is enforce the Clean Water Act, as he could achieve with a simple memo to the DNR, and as the feds told him in 2011, in writing, that he should do because Wisconsin's adherence to the law on his watch was deficient in 75 wide-ranging categories:
Attorney Dennis M. Grzezinski of Midwest Environmental Advocates, which represented a Green Bay environmental group in [a] Georgia-Pacific case, found the EPA's laundry list of concerns troubling. 
"The fact they found 75 problems ought to be amazingly alarming," Grzezinski said. "This is certainly one of the most dramatic statements I have seen from the EPA."
And which is why the feds and lawyers and citizens are now breathing down Walker's neck - - hence his digester 'plan' which is no plan at all.

All this while the number and scale of big feedlots rapidly expands in the state - - 50 in 2000, 263 today and 90+% are dairy operations, more DNR data show - -  and the DNR, with permission from Attorney General Brad Schimel upon request of GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos who got his marching orders in a hand-delivered letter from Big Ag, is not setting limits on the amount of ground water these animal feeding and other large agricultural business can extract.

Walker, Vos, Schimel, Big Ag, all lined up against the public health, clean water, adherence to federal law, and common sense.

And is it a coincidence that some of the recent DNR's big water withdrawal permits have gone to large-scale Scott Waller campaign donors?

Water in - - manure, urine and contamination out - - to seep into nearby wells, lakes, and rivers downhill and downstream.

Helped along by 'regulators' in Wisconsin who do not follow state rules in pollution control 90% of the time, a non-partisan Legislative review recently found.

Bottom line:

*  Rural water systems will remain contaminated as residents wait for digesters - - where, how many, at what cost, with what operating success?

*  Walker will not move further or faster unless compelled by litigation or court orders.

*  And whatever lobbyist or industry insider whom President-elect Donald Trump installs atop the EPA - - as Walker has done with the DNR - - will slow down or remove any federal initiative to hasten clean water compliance in Wisconsin.

This is but a taste of what will happen at the intersection of Trumpism and Walkerism - - and in this case, the taste is rotten and unhealthy.


Jake formerly of the LP said...

This is exactly what I noticed. It's a "hope and prayer" distraction to 1. Enrich a few businesses and 2. Help Big Ag campaign contributors avoid punishment for poisoning the groundwater.

Do not fall for it, and fire these bums for not protecting the people

Where's the ethics? said...

Speaking of unhealthy - JSonline reported this week that Waukesha's largest well, well 10 which supplies 50% do Waukesha's water failed again. Even though the engineering standard for run time for wells is 60%, the DNR is allowing them to run their wells hard to avoid spending money on radium filtration for the 4 remaining deep aquifer wells. Waukesha is now running non compliant wells illegally and dumping a cancer causing agent into their distribution system. Way to go Scott Walker. Exterminate your base slowly.

Anonymous said...

In general digesters decrease pathogens, decrease the volume of waste but increase the concentration of the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and metals in the waste. In other words farmers will need to spread the digested waste on the same number of acres to meet N, P and K recommendations. They really need a waste water treatment plant to handle the waste but the plant would be huge as the waste of 1 cow equals 18 people. Digesters will help but they are not a silver bullet and they shouldn't lie about what they do. Wisconsin has to decide: fewer cows or fewer people?

Anonymous said...

We need the public to learn about this stuff. I don't know how except for what I've been doing on FB and LTE. Why don't we hear more from our Democratic elected representatives. I've been part of this effort for 5 years and we have gone nowhere. We just had an election where we learn that the voters are fine with what is going on. Do the voters have any idea what is going on.