Groundwater contamination

DNR tests tainted water in Kewaunee County

KEWAUNEE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Recent rainfall has left one Kewaunee County couple with tainted water. Not only is it undrinkable, but you wouldn’t want to wash your dishes or shower in it. Rob and Erika Balza live about a mile outside Luxemburg. When they went to brush their teeth before bed last night, they saw brown water that smelled like manure coming out of their bathroom faucet. The brown, murky water is also in their toilets.

“I mean it’s gotten to the point where the nitrates have gotten so bad in the water that twice now they’ve eaten through copper pipes in the basement,” Rob Balza said.

“I mean it’s gotten to the point where the nitrates have gotten so bad in the water that twice now they’ve eaten through copper pipes in the basement,” Rob Balza said.

“We have simply too much manure being spread over what is a very vulnerable geology in northeast Wisconsin,” said Luft.

“We have simply too much manure being spread over what is a very vulnerable geology in northeast Wisconsin,” said Luft.


Public criticized DNR, Scott Walker over climate change scrub

"Walker, for example, has targeted DNR scientists with budget cuts because they were involved in research related to climate change and sought to reduce environmental regulations, but he seldom addresses the topic of global warming. “Once you engage on that topic you are going to displease someone,” Moynihan said."


The Political Environment

GOP Gov. Scott Walker has just signaled he will keep trying to fool all of the people all of the time by stealing the very issue - - clean water for everyone - - which should disqualify him from further public service to keep his inevitable 2018 re-election campaign afloat.

GOP Gov. Scott Walker has just signaled he will keep trying to fool all of the people all of the time by stealing the very issue - - clean water for everyone - - which should disqualify him from further public service to keep his inevitable 2018 re-election campaign afloat.

Though he has thumbed his official nose for 5+ years at his US Clean Water Law obligations, has overseen a statewide reduction in pollution inspections and enforcement, and has carried water (sorry) for whichever wetlands and water abusers needed an official shoulder shrug or pass  - - whether sand mining companies, iron mining special interestsbig aganimal feeding and manure producing operations


Tiffany and Jarchow shortsighted in approach to Northwoods

Such damage is exactly what Tiffany’s and Jarchow’s policies risk allowing — and have in fact allowed by weakening protection of our lake and river shorelines. How severely would degraded water resources damage the economy? What happens to the stores, gas stations, restaurants, motels, car dealers and other businesses when people no longer visit because the lakes have lost their luster?

Such damage is exactly what Tiffany’s and Jarchow’s policies risk allowing — and have in fact allowed by weakening protection of our lake and river shorelines. How severely would degraded water resources damage the economy? What happens to the stores, gas stations, restaurants, motels, car dealers and other businesses
when people no longer visit because the lakes
have lost their luster?

Tiffany and Jarchow seem to wear it as a badge of honor that the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters gives them failing grades for their legislative performance. In reality, that is a badge of shame. In reality, it’s Tiffany and Jarchow who are dogmatic in advocating for private property rights with no mention of responsibilities to protect our natural resources for the benefit of all. In particular, they have pushed through legislation, hidden in the state budget bill, that makes it much more difficult for local and county governments to enact rules to protect our lakes, streams and groundwater from irresponsible development.

 


Wisconsin's climate may need to adapt to Donald Trump

farm-pollution1.png

So it’s likely Trump will replace Robert Kaplan, the interim regional administrator of the EPA Chicago office who last summer sent a team of investigators to review water pollution permit files in the state Department of Natural Resources office in Madison, said Tressie Kamp, an MEA attorney. Kaplan also spearheaded months of public discussions that resulted in detailed recommendations for keeping dairy manure out of water as well as a plan for supplying emergency water to Kewaunee County, where one-third of test wells have been tainted with hazardous bacteria from animal waste.


Thousands of pigs perish in barn fire

The barn was reported a complete loss. The nursery barn for feeder pigs was engulfed when the Fire Department arrived in scene. No human injuries were reported and damage was limited to the barn.

The barn was reported a complete loss. The nursery barn for feeder pigs was engulfed when the Fire Department arrived in scene. No human injuries were reported and damage was limited to the barn.

Another reason why factory farms are dangerous, lives of animals are not taken serious and these are not humane operations for the animals, consumers and also workers at these places. Barn fires can occur without warning and can kill animals in several hundreds because the livestock is crowded in these mega barns under inhumane conditions. In this case, 7,500 to 8,000 pigs perished. This fire started in the office. Spread up the wall into the ceiling and throughout the building. The reporting party reportedly tried to put the fire out but was not able. Another reason to doubt the unsafe operation of these facilities.


Scott Walker: Proposal to split DNR might have merit

"He criticized a measure where the Department of Environmental Protection would not have a citizens board to help guide policy. Meyer said it would shut off an avenue of input if the public is not pleased with the direction of the department. Meyer said land management under the new regime would lack continuity, with agencies such as agriculture and tourism suddenly moving into new areas without expertise. While Jarchow's plan calls for no new spending, Meyer pointed to an analysis by the Fiscal Bureau showing that costs could rise in time as positions are reclassified and salaries spike upward. The concept of two bureaucracies leads to higher costs, Meyer said. "And with two agencies, you have different priorities," he said."


'Climate Change' Deleted From Wisconsin DNR Website

Wisconsin DNR Decision to remove "Climate Change" is making global news.

And  let's not forget  that in April 2015, state officials banned employees of a state agency from talking about climate change, conducting any work on it or even responding to emails about it.   

And let's not forget that in April 2015, state officials banned employees of a state agency from talking about climate change, conducting any work on it or even responding to emails about it.

 

Whoever is managing Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources website must be wearing out the delete key. The word "climate" has been quietly stripped from the department'swebpage dedicated to explaining the state's response to climate change, Raw Story reported. In total, 13 original appearances of the word "climate" have been kiboshed. The only place you'll see the word now is in the "climatechange.html" URL and a tiny footnote link. Not only that, any reference to humanity's contribution to global warming has been deleted.


DNR purges climate change from web page

Officials replaced this wording: “Earth’s climate is changing. Human activities that increase heat-trapping ('greenhouse') gases are the main cause.”

Officials replaced this wording: “Earth’s climate is changing. Human activities that increase heat-trapping ('greenhouse') gases are the main cause.”

The State Department of Natural Resources recently scrubbed language from an agency web page on the Great Lakes that said humans and greenhouse gases are the main cause of climate change. The DNR now says the subject is a matter of scientific debate. The department made the changes on Dec. 21, striking out whole sentences attributing global warming to human activities and rising levels of carbon dioxide. It’s the most recent example of the DNR removing information related to climate change. More broadly, the changes reflect how the administration of Republican Gov. Scott Walker has de-emphasized the subject since he took office in 2011.


State to hold hearings on stricter manure runoff rules

The proposed changes include new restrictions aimed at keeping manure and other nutrients away from direct conduits to groundwater, while allowing farmers to choose conservation practices that are appropriate for their operations, and still protect resources

The proposed changes include new restrictions aimed at keeping manure and other nutrients away from direct conduits to groundwater, while allowing farmers to choose conservation practices that are appropriate for their operations, and still protect resources

Farm runoff standards are set to be tightened in Wisconsin, so state officials want to hear from the public about the proposed changes.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will hold four public hearings in January on the changes to the rule known as ATCP 50, with the changes precipitated by changes to the USDA's nutrient management standard.


Natural Resources Board wants answers on 'surprising' DNR audit

DNR employees didn’t have time to adequately review annual reports submitted by concentrated animal feeding operations or plans describing how millions of gallons of manure they generate annually would be kept out of lakes, streams and groundwater. The DNR didn’t meet its goals for inspections and failed to document that it took any action for months or even years in five incidents where monitoring wells showed feedlots were contaminating groundwater with substances harmful to human health, auditors said.

State Sen. Rob Cowles: “I can tell you the DNR board is steaming mad,” Cowles said last week. “This was a surprise to them. Three of them called me, and a lot of my constituents did, too.”

State Sen. Rob Cowles: “I can tell you the DNR board is steaming mad,” Cowles said last week. “This was a surprise to them. Three of them called me, and a lot of my constituents did, too.”


New questions raised on how Wisconsin will protect lakes, drinking water

The DNR collects $5 million to $7 million annually in fees from concentrated animal feeding operations, known as CAFOs, municipal sewer plants and private industry, but it typically keeps less than $90,000, with the rest going to the state’s general fund.

The DNR collects $5 million to $7 million annually in fees from concentrated animal feeding operations, known as CAFOs, municipal sewer plants and private industry, but it typically keeps less than $90,000, with the rest going to the state’s general fund.

After years of complaints about tainted drinking water and weed-choked waterways, proposals for tighter state restrictions on industrial-scale dairy operations are in the works. Without adequate law enforcement, the state could slide back toward the polluted conditions that existed before enactment of the federal Clean Water Act in 1972, and he’s not sure the Legislature is prepared to make needed changes. “The people of this state believe in water quality. We brag about our lakes and rivers and having great places to fish in and swim in.”


Coliform Bacteria and Nitrate Well Contamination

This summer, the Wisconsin DNR required the Picnic and Group area wells and drinking fountains be closed to the public; they cannot be re-opened until steps are taken to resolve the coliform bacteria problems.

This summer, the Wisconsin DNR required the Picnic and Group area wells and drinking fountains be closed to the public; they cannot be re-opened until steps are taken to resolve the coliform bacteria problems.

The Homestead Park well has had nitrate levels above safe drinking water standards for six years. During this timeframe, the well/drinking fountains have been closed to the public and bottled drinking water has been purchased for full-time and seasonal park staff. The Homestead well was constructed in 2002. At the time every precaution was taken to avoid nitrate contamination, the well is 325 feet deep, is 10-inches wide with a 6-inch casing going down 313 feet, the cavity between the well and casing is grouted to 303 feet.

View here well failure PDF


Environmental Impact of Factory Farms

While festering in these lagoons, liquefied animal waste often leaches into the groundwater, contaminating neighboring wells and rendering water unsafe for humans and farm animals. When CAFOs spread their waste onto fields, that waste frequently runs off into waterways. The resulting overload of nutrients causes rapid algae growth, which depletes the water of oxygen and kills large numbers of fish and other aquatic life.