DNR derelict in not alerting La Crosse County about tainted wells

 Since at least 2005, according to a report by the Legislative Audit Bureau, the nitrate levels measured in test wells near the hog operation have exceeded limits set by the state — as much as five times that limit as recently as 2010.

Since at least 2005, according to a report by the Legislative Audit Bureau, the nitrate levels measured in test wells near the hog operation have exceeded limits set by the state — as much as five times that limit as recently as 2010.

"Maybe the most troubling part of all, however, was the DNR’s response when La Crosse County officials sought state records documenting groundwater problems near that concentrated animal feeding operation.

"Here’s what DNR spokesman Jim Dick told the Tribune: “The DNR doesn’t have a policy regarding notifying municipalities or private well owners in the vicinity when a CAFO violates a permit.”

"Let’s pause on that: A state agency that collects data about environmental quality doesn’t care enough about public health to alert people or the counties where they live about a potential problem with the water they drink.

"Why not?

"Shouldn’t the DNR, shouldn’t someone with the state, care enough about the health of its citizens to alert them to potential problems with drinking water?

"Or, is Wisconsin so entirely open for business that it simply doesn’t care about people anymore?"