LTE – Kim Dupre – 8-16-2017

There have been excellent articles recently in our local newspapers about industrial dairies and their effect on our rural landscape.

[emember_protected] For those who think the DNR is fully capable to protect our clean drinking water, a recent study in Kewaunee County revealed 60% of tested wells were contaminated with bovine and human bacteria. LaCrosse County recently discovered contamination in private wells near an industrial hog facility. The DNR said they did not notify the residents or the county because they didn’t have a policy to do so. An audit report last year found the DNR failed to issue citations for violations by industrial producers 94% of the time!

In March, a massive manure spill that had gone unreported by the owners and undetected by authorities for at least three months was discovered at Emerald Sky Dairy in St. Croix County. The DNR is still conducting its investigation nearly 5 months later. In the meantime, some area residents have discovered ecoli in their well water. Is it related to the spill or its cleanup? We don’t know.

And now….the Dairy Business Association has filed a lawsuit against the DNR seeking to remove ALL State oversight of industrial dairies’ handling of manure. Unconscionable!!

Enough is enough. Until such time as legislators in Madison get serious about protecting our clean drinking water, we should pause on the rapid-fire approval of industrial dairies. Current protections for groundwater need to be revisited (since they aren’t working) and deeper dives into problems need to be done! Citizens have a human right to clean drinking water.

Please do your part to maintain clean drinking water. Visit www.SustainRuralWisconsin.org and sign the petition for a state-wide moratorium on new or expanding industrial dairies until the DNR can get control of the situation. Better yet, take the resolution to your township, city council, or county board and ask for their support.

Industrial dairies are not your family operated farm. Farming has changed of late….but our need for clean drinking water will not ever change!

Kim Dupre
Emerald, WI [/emember_protected]