Thursday, January 9, 2020

Lawsuit against one WI CAFO gets bigger. The issues are significant and statewide.

Large-scale animal feeding operations in Wisconsin are proliferating. So are efforts to rein them in.

This blog has posted about large Wisconsin animal feeding operations and groundwater contamination issues for years - - here, or here, or here - - and an expanding lawsuit aimed at one large operator shows why neighbors public have had enough:
About 200 households suing large farms in Wood and Juneau counties
According to the complaint, the Central Sands Dairy Farm, a Wysocki Family of Farms partner, reportedly has 6,165 animals that produce 37,500,200 gallons of liquid manure and wastewater, and 14,472 tons of solid manure annually. Reportedly, 50 million gallons of liquid waste and 26,000 tons of solid waste annually from those animals and other sources are spread on fields in the central sands area. 
Keep in mind that Wisconsin has more than 200 of these so-called CAFOS (Concentrated animal Feeding operations), and the political protection they have received from entrenched GOP politicians has strengthened as their numbers have accelerated:

Vos, Fitzgerald go to bat for 'existing and expanding CAFO operations'
* The central sands area is a known center of groundwater contamination. 
I included in a July 9 summary blog post about water pollution statewide
CAFO runoff in Kewaunee County, NW WI
key recent findings of groundwater contamination in Juneau County, including the Towns of Armenia and Port Edwards: 
* Widespread well water contamination reported in Juneau County.
Testing of more than 100 water wells in a rural area of Juneau County found 42 percent of them had high levels of nitrates and nitrogen, making the water unsafe to drink, a groundwater specialist said Tuesday.
* A separate, proposed Wysocki project - - Golden Sands - - is involved in a high profile legal case

Note that national media have written about the issues: 
It’s a particular problem in the middle of the state where Golden Sands has been proposed. The region, called Central Sands, was formed by a glacial lake, leaving behind the Wisconsin River as a souvenir. A quarter of this flat, broad landscape is now devoted to agriculture.
Wysocki has said "legacy" farming practices could be to blame:
Wysocki did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment on the lawsuit. However, Tim Huffcutt, a spokesperson for Wysocki Family of Companies, sent a statement to the USA Today Network-Wisconsin in January, saying, “there are various sources of nitrates in the environment” and repeating suggestions that these could be linked to legacy farming practices. Huffcutt’s statement also said the Armenia Growers Coalition believes providing bottled water and treatment systems “is the best way forward.”
The WI DNR's website says that proposed operation does not yet have a current permit
August 2019 status
The permit applications and supporting documents submitted by the Golden Sands Dairy LLC were considered incomplete. The department has placed the permit review and the environmental impact statement process on hold and is not actively working on the project review.  
The department will update this webpage and send notification via GovDelivery, if and when the department receives updated permit application materials from the applicant.
* Wysocki interests have been major lobbying spenders and some of its personnel have been campaign donors, especially to Walker, according to Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.


Maynard McKillen said...

Vos and Fitzgerald cannot, simply cannot, lower the quality of life for ordinary Wisconsinites fast enough! Such knee-jerk servitude to the whims of corporations and Big Ag demands that they look the other way, ignore the science, ignore the geology, ignore the citizens who do not make huge campaign donations to state GOP legislators. What corporate puppets!
Bottled water and water treatment infrastructure are laughable conceits as "solutions" to corporate abuse of the environment, this at the hands of sociopaths and flaming narcissists.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Maynard McKillen on the fact that they do not consider the science, or geological possibilities of the problem, and even the donations made by wealthy persons to help keep themselves out of the accusations. My concern, is someone whom I know that lives near this farm, and, all because of not being the homeowner, was not able to be a part of the lawsuit, even though the family of 4 lives in the lower half of the residents as separate households (2 children included), Yet the homeowner won't participate in the lawsuit, most likely, because they might be guilty of a part of the problem, since they own a farm with cattle, but their families health stays at risk because of it. I am also aware that the neighbors, who are all part in the lawsuit, have a less nitrate level then they do. If they investigate surrounding areas, the way the river flows, and direction of any underground water, then test levels correctly. And also consider the chemical plant between Port Edwards, and Nekoosa, plus the mill in nekoosa, and what they do with their waist, they might find out more to the solution, or where all problems are coming from.