DNR Reissues Permit to Kewaunee CAFO

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced this week that it reissued a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) Permit to El-Na Farms LLC in the Town of Lincoln in Kewaunee County. The farm has approximately 1,350 milking and dry cows, 850 heifers and 500 calves, equaling 2,675 animal units, which produce approximately 16.5 million gallons of manure and process wastewater as well as 5,000 tons of solid manure annually, on approximately 4,982 acres. The permit took effect Aug. 1 and is good through July 31, 2022. The farm plans to expand to 5,970 animal units. In responding to public comments about the growth of this CAFO at a permit hearing held in Luxemburg on June 27, the DNR wrote:  “The Department does not claim that CAFO WPDES permits are ‘zero risk’ permits and the Department acknowledges that there have been impacts associated with CAFOs, some of those impacts have been significant. However, the Department believes that the WPDES permit program has been an effective means to address these impacts and avoid impacts from occurring in the future. As with any license or permit that is issued, there is always the potential for environmental impacts associated with permit noncompliance or situations not easily or explicitly addressed by prescriptive permit requirements.”

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