Crawford County CAFOs
Can’t You Smell That Smell?
Clean Air Act Fixes for Factory Farm Air Pollution
By J. Nicholas Hoover
Massive facilities that keep large numbers of livestock have overtaken small, independent farms as the primary source of meat, eggs, and dairy in the United States. These concentrated animal feeding operations (“CAFOs”) compare more to industrial manufacturing operations than to traditional farms, and emit huge quantities of air pollutants that are harmful to public health, sickening people and damaging the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) possesses statutorily provided tools under the Clean Air Act that it uses to regulate other polluting industries. However, this article – after reviewing the rise of CAFOs, examining the threats they pose, and surveying current regulation– suggests that the EPA’s approach to CAFOs is grossly inadequate. The article argues that the agency, under the Clean Air Act, should regulate the emissions ofhydrogen sulfide and ammonia, two pollutants for which factory farms are major sources.
This approach is incomplete, however. Pollutant-based regulation is both overbroad in that it will regulate other sources of these pollutants and underbroad because CAFO air pollution includes more than just these pollutants. The EPA should therefore additionally or alternatively rely on a more thorough and flexible pollution source-specific tool, the New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”). NSPS are analogous to the rigorous source-specificapproach used to regulate CAFO water pollution under the Clean Water Act, and will provide a comprehensive antidote to the ills of modern, industrial animal
Wauzeka Area CAFO Update:
April 23, 2012
CSP has received the 2012 Nutrient Management Plan Update from the DNR and will be reviewing the information. Mike Gilbertson of the DNR will be visiting the CAFO with Crawford County Conservationist Dave Troester. The DNR continues to clarify the requirements and consistency needs in the documents from the CAFO. CSP is still looking for more answers and information regarding the abandonment of the old lagoons. See 2012 Spring Newsletter for more information.
Citizen Group brings Concerns on the Wauzeka
February 15, 2012
Wauzeka Area CAFO Update: Hog Operation to the DNR
A Notice of Non-compliance (NON) order was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to the Roth Feeder Pig operation in Wauzeka Township in Crawford County on February 3, 2012. According to the NON, the Roth operation has failed to submit a completed Annual Report due January 31, 2012. The NON reflects some of the concerns brought to the DNR by Christa Westerberg, lawyer with McGillivray, Westerberg, & Bender, LLC, on behalf of Crawford Stewardship Project (CSP) in a letter sent January 17, 2012. This is the second time Mr. Roth has been issued an NON, the first was in March 2011, after CSP brought a series of concerns to the DNR. Since the February 3, 2012 NON was issued, Mr. Roth has sent documents to the DNR that likely address some of the requirements listed in the NON. Other issues addressed by the DNR in the Feb 2012 NON include:
Wauzeka Area CAFO Update August 2011
In November 2010, CSP brought forward concerns to the DNR on issues of the abandonment of the old buildings and lagoon, updates to the Nutrient Management Plan, Engineering reports on the present buildings, and Annual Report for the Wauzeka area Feeder Pig CAFO.
Letter to the Editor, May 10, 2010
In March the DNR issued a Notice of Non Compliance to the CAFO owner. According to the DNR letter dated May 9, 2011, the CAFO is now in compliance with their WPDES discharge permit.
A Dozen CAFO Talking Points
As of May 1, 2010, the Roth feeder pig CAFO was granted their water discharge permit (WPDES) from the DNR. This is the first and only CAFO in Crawford County. Concerns continue that this operation has too little land for too much manure, along the Wisconsin River with neighbors close by who have a reduced quality of life. Air is sometimes so foul as to make them gag and concerns about well water contamination and run-off are ever present.
The facility was built before they had any licenses and permits. The County approved the facility in November of 2007. As stated in an article by Ron Seely of the Wisconsin State Journal, "(Ron) Leys, chairman of the county board, discovered the siting law afforded little protection. Instead, it appeared, the rules - which had been written by the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection - largely block challenges by local communities to factory farms.
'These guys have put the handcuffs on us so tightly that we can't move,' he (Leys) said." (From March 2, 2010, "Who Decides Where Farms Go" by Ron Seely, Wisconsin State Journal)
Twenty-eight neighbors challenged the County approved License in April 2008 and the state Livestock Siting Review Board reversed the County decision-for just 3 weeks. The political and industry pressure that brought on that reversal are not clear. This CAFO operated over a two year period without their WPDES permit and the DNR "stepped enforcement" included just two letters of non-compliance.
Presently, water quality monitoring is being done by citizen volunteers in the watershed of the CAFO.
Response to DNR Issuance of water discharge Permit to Roth Feeder Pig Operation
Despite heavy opposition and serious health concerns, the DNR issued a water discharge permit to the Roth Feeder Pig Operation on May 1, 2010. Since rules and policies of the DNR largely include self-monitoring, it is the citizens who are primarily watching and documenting the potential pollution from the spreading of 6,000 (six thousand) animals worth of manure on just 180 acres of land.
Speaker after speaker of the 100 people attending the public hearing on March 18 in Wauzeka addressed health and economic concerns from the community; too little land, too much manure, well pollution concerns, run-off potential into Boydtown Creek and the Wisconsin River, karst geology, and air sometimes too foul to breathe.
The DNR stated in their issuance of this permit, “The comments received from the public, in conjunction with information compiled by the Department before and subsequent to the public hearing indicate that the possibility of negative environmental impacts exists. If the Department had sufficient information to conclude that this facility is negatively affecting groundwater or surface-water quality, it could initiate an enforcement action.“
The message is clear to us. The responsibility for frequent and ongoing water quality monitoring and documentation of manure spreading rests with the citizens. Neighbors and area citizens will continue active water monitoring using DNR protocol.
Crawford Stewardship Project Coordinator