Here's an update circulated by Kewaunee Cares activists and environmentally-sensitive farmers Lynn and Nancy Utesch:
Many believe that Kewaunee County's problems are rooted in "run-off" issues-- spreading that unfortunately ends up leaving its intended site, more often than not, meeting up with water, and causing pollution.
What is occurring in Kewaunee County is criminal, willful negligence that harms the landscape, our water and air, and the people living here. Please look at the attached photos, taken last week, of recent applications to spreading fields in Kewaunee that resulted in run-off reaching the Ahnapee River [on the EPA's impaired waters list], and ultimately Lake Michigan.
Some would argue that this type of manure disposal is not defined as spreading, but rather, "dumping" which is punishable by law.
Also attached, a separate incident causing egregious pollution-- the October 25th Da-Ran CAFO "event".
DNR Recommendation for Da-Ran: "Based on several observed NMP violations, enforcement action is recommended"….Recommended? What deterrents have been placed before this polluting entity in attempts to "safeguard" our community? Has this report been sent to the DOJ? why or why not?
Several "Peninsula Pride" farms this summer experienced "manure spills", contrary to their vow to exceed "best management practices". The attached Culvert picture is from the Production area of the Peninsula Pride president's CAFO operation, Dairy Dreams, taken in September, 2016; this same culvert area was investigated by the EPA and DNR in April of 2014. This culvert empties into nearby tributaries and ultimately, Lake Michigan. Longstanding, ongoing pollution is unstemmed in Kewaunee County, with little to no response, repetitively exposing residents to BMP's [Bad management Practices] that harm human health and poison our drinking water and private wells.
Voluntary Compliance to Best Management Practices-- does not work.
We continue to request a warden for oversight/documentation purposes where we live, to no avail. [We have been without a warden for almost 4 years now]. This has become the citizens self-policing job where we live.
MASSIVE REGULATORY FAILURE CONTINUES IN KEWAUNEE COUNTY. This conversation must turn away from this being viewed as accidental/or due to other factors, and must be recognized as negligent behaviors warranting immediate oversight, fines & enforcement to deter and stop the ongoing behaviors that harm both human health and the environment in northeast Wisconsin. We can no longer "wait" for operations to "come into compliance" while suffering the devastating effects of their pollution.
The October 25th event, referenced above:
November 22, 2016
Brad Holtz, Casey Jones – DNR
Da-Ran Dairy File
Joe Baeten – DNR Nutrient Management Specialist
Summary of Manure Hauling Inspection on October 25, 2016
FILE REF: Da-Ran Dairy
On October 25, 2016, Joe Baeten conducted an announced audit of field 89 in Da-Ran Dairy’s nutrient
management plan (NMP). Baeten obtained permission from Randy Stahl to inspect the field. Other DNR
staff were also present during the inspection as part of manure hauling audit training. The Department
documented the following issues during the audit:
Manure was applied with 25 feet of a wetland.
Manure ran off the application site into a wetland.
Manure ran off the application site into an intermittent stream.
Manure discharged from a tile outlet to surface water.
Manure was applied to saturated soils.
Manure ponded on the application site after application was complete.
A tile outlet identified during the inspection was not included on the farm’s restriction map.
The most current version of the nutrient management plan on hand showed the field as alfalfa
seeding however; corn silage was observed during the inspection.
Recommended follow-up / information to request from Da-Ran Dairy:
All manure applications to field 89 shall cease until the restriction map is updated to include the
tile outlet, submitted through the Water Permit Application webpage for public notice, and
approved by the department.
SnapPlus shall be updated to indicate the field is tiled.
The restriction maps the department has with the most current version of the NMP (2016 NMP
Update submitted March 2016) cannot be viewed due to an outdated mapping system. Resubmit
updated restriction maps for all fields in Da Ran Dairy’s NMP.
Based on several observed NMP violations, enforcement action is recommended.
Enclosure: Inspection Report Da Ran Dairy Field 89
E-Copy to: Rick Stoll, WDNR Watershed Field Supervisor
Mary Anne Lowndes, WDNR Runoff Management Section Chief
"A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its 1960 opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC and buttressing The Public Trust Doctrine, Article IX of the Wisconsin State Constitution.
Lake Michigan in winter
James Rowen's Bio
James Rowen is an independent writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He worked as the senior Mayoral staffer in Madison and Milwaukee and for newspapers in both cities. This blog began on 2/2/ 2007.