Monday, November 16, 2020

Big WI DNR water quality plan Zoom session Monday

With voting and COVID19 counts dominating the news, you might have missed reporting about yet another trout-killing manure overflow into a Wisconsin waterway last week.

Environmental Regulators Investigating 3K-Gallon Manure Spill Near Cashton

Wisconsin DNR Staff Report More Than 100 Dead Fish

Which is why you might want to participate in this key DNR public session by Zoom Monday given the multiple, long-standing problems with the quality of Wisconsin's rivers, lakes and streams. 

Public Webinar and Hearing on 
Triennial Review of Surface Water Quality Standards

Date: Monday, November 16, 2020

Time: 1:00 p.m. to end of agenda
Meeting Type: Online and/or Conference Call (see detailed information)
Contact: Meghan Williams, 608-267-7654

Every three years, the DNR reviews Wisconsin's surface water quality standards as required by the Clean Water Act, to determine which standards need to be developed or revised. The DNR uses the Triennial Standards Review process to prioritize which of these topics the DNR plans to work on over the next three years. 

The review process provides the public an opportunity to provide input on how the DNR should focus its available resources to ensure the health of Wisconsin lakes, rivers and streams.

At this meeting, the DNR will provide an overview of the topics to be considered and an invitation to complete an online topic ranking form, and will also take comments on which topics the public feel should be priorities. 

The comment period will be open from November 16 through December 4, 2020.

A link to the virtual hearing (via Zoom) is available in the hearing notice.

The public has the opportunity to testify at the hearing. Registration will take place at the hearing by completing a Hearing Appearance form, which will also be available when joining the meeting via the Zoom link. 

Any attendees phoning in may verbally notify the Hearing Officer that they would like to make a statement, and the Hearing Officer will verbally ask for the information on the Hearing Appearance form.

Public Hearing Notice [PDF] 


There are many water quality issues facing the state, from manure runoff to nitrate contamination to phosphorous contamination to blue-green algae, including threats from metallic mining are also on the table.

Here's one which is looming:

  • Because the Back Forty would be a sulfide mine, it threatens to leach sulfuric acid, which is extremely hazardous to freshwater rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater. The Center for Science in Public Participation warns that the mine’s “ARD (Acid Rock Drainage) risk is very high. Most material contains sulfides… (…) All tailings are expected to generate acid, with the exception of tailings produced in year 3 of mining. Additionally, over 75% of the waste rock is expected to generate acid.” Sulfide mining could pollute groundwater or devastate the Menominee River, which drains into Lake Michigan.
Menominee River | Tom Young

The Detroit Free Press has reported.
Upper Peninsula mine approved despite major concerns from DEQ and EPA staff, records show

I have followed this threat to the Menominee River and posting about it several times, including here and earlier, here.

More information here about a coalition of groups opposing the mine, and a recent piece by long time activist author Al Gedicks, here.

1 comment:

Natalie of Coalition to Save the Menominee River said...

James, THANK You for highlighting our Menominee River threat from mining! We appreciate you. The foreign mining company just submitted applications for toxic tailings dam and pond permits. This is dire. We need help to STOP this before the mining starts. We need a few things: 1)Money for our legal expenses, outreach, etc. 100% of us in the coalition are volunteers. We need to pay our legal experts.
We need 2) 1000's of people to click on our website and our "Take Action" button to send messages to regulators on why we DO NOT want this mine here on the watershed to pollute Green Bay to Lake Michigan to Chicago and Indiana.
3) to expand our plight's message to more people with heads, hearts, wallets,and hopefully a powerful "champion" to carry our flag, leading our effort to prevent this mine here until we finally stop the threat, thus Saving the Menominee River.
Keep up the good work, Natalie Lashmet, Menominee, MI