The Dairy Business Association’s decision to sue the Wisconsin DNR could probably not come at a worse time. Just after Kewaunee County residents were informed about the extent of bovine contamination in private wells – contamination that clearly signals that the existing rules are inadequate, the Dairy Business Association (DBA) announces they are suing the DNR because the DNR did not follow what the DBA thinks was the proper protocol in establishing rules to limit runoff from calf hutches and feed storage lots. The DBA also contends that the DNR illegally requires large farms to apply for and follow a complex and costly regulatory process to obtain a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit even if they don’t intend to discharge any pollutants into waters of the state. The DBA makes no mention of the proven discharges to groundwater from agricultural practices.
If there was ever any doubt about the Dairy Business Association’s intent to fight and avoid even the current regulations aimed at trying to protect our ground and surface waters, this new lawsuit should put that debate to rest once and for all. I don’t think we should be surprised to find out that the DBA lobbyists are working overtime to scale back any new regulations that may come from the years-long DNR-Kewaunee county workgroups and their recommended modifications to NR-151 (Manure runoff rules).
Shocked, no. Saddened, yes.
Lee Luft, Kewaunee County Board Member