Sunday, December 23, 2018

WI rings out the year in a brownish sort of way

Another brown water event. Yes, in Brown County:
DNR confirms manure spill in Brown County 
GREEN BAY - Department of Natural Resources staff and the owner of New Horizon Dairy, De Pere, are working to contain a manure runoff event near Wrightstown off Fair Road west of State 57. 
The dairy's owner is working to control and contain manure contaminated water from running off the field. The runoff has entered an unnamed stream along the east and south sides of the field and into a ditch on the north side of the field. 
The farmer notified the DNR of the spill and is working with the agency to implement control measures. DNR staff is still determining the downstream impact of the spill. 
An estimate of the volume of runoff is not yet available, but it is estimated about 60,000 gallons of manure-contaminated water has been collected by vacuum trucks. DNR will continue to work with the dairy owner to contain the spill. Additional information will be provided as the situation develops.  
According to DNR records, New Horizon Dairy planned to reach the '1,000 animal unit' CAFO threshold some years ago.

The DNR offers some CAFO information through this web page, though I would note that both of these outside agency links' are dead - - 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency CAFO and NPDES information
U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
- - while this link - -
  • Map of WPDES permitted CAFOs [PDF] – the points on the map are an approximation of the operation’s main farm location. Satellite operations covered under the permit are not included.
- - takes you to a map based on January 17, 2017 data and is credited to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resiurces[Sic], and noted here a month ago without being fixed, and which I point to as proof that incoming DNR-Secretary Preston Cole's huge rebuilding task at the agency includes a vital return to science, and other basics.

When it comes to the CAFO/pollution/policy matter, I have argued that there are direct connections among several factors which Cole and Governor-elect Tony Evers and others will have to untangle, re-prioritize and repair, including:

The Walker administration's coordinated Big Dairy-friendly enabling of CAFO expansions through fast-tracked permitting, shrugged-off inspections (like 94% of the time) and other favors; greater manure runoff and airborne contamination, including the so-called 'brown water' in rural kitchen taps; and the accelerating smaller Wisconsin dairying death spiral noted on this blog and national media.

Some Wisconsin groundwater's bears a distasteful similarity to Flint, Michigan's - - just a different contaminate and source, reported The New York Times in November:
ARMENIA, Wis. — The groundwater that once ran cool and clean from taps in this Midwestern farming town is now laced with contaminants and fear. People refuse to drink it. They won’t brush their teeth with it. They dread taking showers. 
Rural communities call it their own, private Flint — a diffuse, creeping water crisis tied to industrial farms and slack regulations that for years has tainted thousands of residential wells across the Midwest and beyond.
This is what an earlier 'manure runoff event' looked like in Kewaunee County.



Anonymous said...

Feces in water should have derailed Walker in 2014, but his base supporters have so much hate and anger that they voted for Walker then even while swilling manure. These are the same people that elected and still support Trump.

Tom Williams said...

Thank you so much for the detailed article

James Rowen said...

You are welcome and thanks for being a reader here.