Monday, November 4, 2019

Week of rural WI drinking water hearings, comment methods begin Monday

Take action now. Demand change. Crises created by corporations and their legislative allies are unacceptable. Clean, safe water is a necessity and a right. 

Background, hearing locations, comment links and address, below:
There is a surplus of documentation about Wisconsin's rural well water nitrate contamination crisis - - examples, here and here - - and ad infinitum back to at least 2015:
Nitrate in water widespread, current rules no match for it
In fact, The New York Times came to rural Wisconsin a year ago and posted this story a year ago come this Sunday:
Rural America's Own Private Flint; Polluted Water Too Dangerous to Drink
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. 
So when you weigh in at next week's long overdue round of state rule-revision hearings, or send in a written comment (directions below) make sure you emphasize that the foot-dragging has got to stop, as Kewaunee County clean water activist Nancy Utesch explained nearly a year ago.

Manure flowing from a Kewaunee CAFO several years ago.

And note that the manure discharge show below from one of 16 major animal feeding operations in Kewaunee County alone is a repetitive event:

This post from River Alliance of Wisconsin has the hearing schedule, comment links and excellent analysis.

Let me also say that the scheduling of all the hearings long distances from Kewaunee County, and the concentration of so many large animal feeding operations in NE Wisconsin, is ridiculous.

Source: Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council Report to the Legislature 2018, (DNR)

We know the health risks posed by consuming nitrate-contaminated water. 
We know which parts of the state have high nitrates in their water and which soils are most susceptible for nitrate contamination. 
We know the primary source of nitrate pollution is runoff from agriculture. 
We know—to begin to address this problem—we need targeted solutions to help farmers reduce their runoff and impact on our waters, and still continue to be profitable...
Please take a moment to submit comments to the DNR by November 8th. 
The very simple message is (you can personalize, copy and paste): 
I approve of the scope statement 077-19 for rule WT-19-19. Wisconsin’s nitrate contamination problems need to be addressed. The DNR needs to be allowed to start the process of engaging stakeholders to determine the targeted performance standards in places that have both high levels of nitrate and highly susceptible soils. The health of people and our waters can’t wait any longer for solutions. 
NOTE: If you have a personal story about high nitrates in your well water, or if you are a farmer that has taken or is willing to take steps to reduce nitrates, please add a that to your comments to the DNR. 
Or, you may mail your comments to:
Brian Weigel; Dept. of Natural Resources, Bureau of Watershed Management
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921.... 

If you would like to attend a hearing in person, the dates and locations are: 
Hearing 1 | Hancock, WI:
  • November 4, 2019
  • 1PM to 2:30PM
  • Hancock Research Station; Headquarters Building
    N3909 County Road V; Hancock, Wisconsin
Hearing 2 | Janesville, WI:
  • November 6, 2019
  • 1PM to 2:30PM
  • Blackhawk Technical College; Room 1400B (North Commons)
    6004 South County Road G; Janesville, Wisconsin
Hearing 3 | Fond du Lac, WI:
  • November 7, 2019
  • 1:30pm to 3PM
  • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fond du Lac Campus
    Room UC-114 (also known as “Large Group Instructional Room”)
    400 University Drive; Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

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