Posted at 13:30 on October 3, 2017
The Brillion News
GREEN BAY – Clean Wisconsin on Tuesday, October 3, filed a Motion to intervene in a Dairy Business Association (DBA) lawsuit which Clean Wisconsin believes challenges safeguards that protect surface water and groundwater from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) pollution.
“Clean Wisconsin is taking action to prevent water pollution from large industrial farms, which produce massive volumes of manure that can pose significant risks to our water resources if mishandled,” said Evan Feinauer, Clean Wisconsin staff attorney. “DBA’s lawsuit is an attempt by one part of the farming community to undermine the CAFO wastewater permitting system, instead of working with the DNR to address specific concerns.”
Large farms have come under increased scrutiny in Wisconsin because of their impacts on water quality. Clean Wisconsin said that a farm with 2,500 animals produces at much waste as a city with roughly 400,000 residents per year.
“If DBA wins this lawsuit, it would effectively blow up the CAFO permitting system,” said Feinauer. “There would be major impacts to surface water quality, groundwater quality and public health throughout the state, if large CAFOs are not required to obtain permits to prevent water pollution.”
This lawsuit comes at a time when cooperative efforts are already underway to address groundwater contamination stemming from agricultural sources.
In Kewaunee County, water in over 30 percent of private wells is contaminated from livestock and human waste.
Clean Wisconsin’s motion was filed jointly with Clean Water Action Council, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, and Friends of the Central Sands in Brown County Circuit Court.