Issues: Media Reports

Kewaunee’s Message to Wood County

"It is too late for the Kewaunee county residents to prevent the CAFOs from invading the place they call home. They are forced to resort to holding what ground they have by attempting to do what the state will not, regulate the CAFOs and hold them accountable to the havoc they are wreaking on the county's water. In this meeting, they took a stand to enact a "Groundwater Protection Ordinance" that would extend the requisite soil depth down to the carbonate bedrock from 5 feet to 20 feet.

It's not too late for Wood County to keep itself safe from the CAFOs."

Bayfield County Groundwater Results

"A report on groundwater and wells near the proposed site for a large hog farm shows that the area's soil composition makes it more susceptible to runoff pollution.

The farm that Iowa-based Reicks View Farms plans to build in Bayfield County near Lake Superior would be the largest hog farm in the state, holding about 26,000 pigs. The company plans to spread roughly 9 million gallons of manure across around 1,400 acres at the site each year by injecting it into the soil."

Read the WPR report here

Read the Ashland Daily Press article here

Al Jazeera’s Series on Wisconsin’s Water Woes

"There are so many lakes in Wisconsin that not even half of them have been named.

With some 84,000 miles of rivers and streams, more than 15,000 lakes, millions of acres of wetlands and more than a quadrillion gallons of groundwater, Wisconsin has long been a model for environmental conservation and a destination for those looking to enjoy nature.

But residents, environmentalists, and researchers say that legacy and the state’s water resources are under threat. While the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) secretary became a politicized appointment 20 years ago, many say Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has had an unprecedented impact on the state’s natural resources, and that Wisconsin’s bountiful waters are more imperiled than ever.

In the past 10 years, the number of frac sand mines in Wisconsin has grown from five to more than 60. The number of dairy CAFOs — concentrated animal feeding operations — ballooned from 50 to 250. There are more than 3,000 high capacity wells — which pull at least 70 gallons of water out of the ground each minute — in one region alone, up from fewer than 100 five decades ago." 

Three part series: 

Politicized Environmental Agency Threatens Wisconsin’s Water

The Vanishing Lakes of Wisconsin’s Central Sands

Something’s in the Water in Kewaunee County

Wisconsin Watch's Failure at the Faucet Series

Failure at the Faucet is part of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s ongoing Water Watch Wisconsin project, which examines state water quality and supply issues.

Six Part Series:

Safeguarding Your Drinking Water

Safe, Clean Drinking Water Eludes Many Wisconsinites

Nitrate in Water Widespread, Current Rules No Match for It

Going Organic: One Farmer’s Fight Against Contaminants in the Groundwater

Cost of Most Drinking Water Pollution Borne by Consumers

What is Nitrate?

Petition to EPA: Wisconsin Fails to Comply with the Clean Water Act

"Today, on behalf of 16 Petitioners from across the state of Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Advocates filed a Petition for Corrective Action with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to request action by both federal and state agencies to bring Wisconsin back into compliance with the Clean Water Act. Wisconsin citizens petitioning the EPA have long-standing water problems from poor implementation and enforcement of the landmark federal law."

Read the Midwest Environmental Advocates article here. 

Pollution Concerns Heighten Hog Conflicts

"From Washington state to North Carolina, federal lawsuits are challenging the efficient, profitable livestock industry to change its ways. The arguments found in the lawsuits are based on studies that increasingly show the impact phosphorous, nitrate and bacteria from fertilizer and accumulated manure have on lakes and rivers as well as air pollution that may be harmful to respiratory health.

Large-scale livestock farmers insist they’re using techniques to keep manure and fertilizer from draining into waterways, though fifth-generation farmer Bill Couser of Des Moines says, “We realize this is not going to happen overnight or in two years.”

However, those who rely on rivers and lakes for drinking water or live near such farms — especially in the top two hog-producing states of Iowa and North Carolina — are growing impatient, and their lawsuits serve to highlight the debate between the right to raise livestock and the right to clean water and air."

Read the Des Moines Register article here