Differences Remain Over Addressing CAFO Compliance, Enforcement

No one is completely satisfied with action this week from the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee on proposed fees and additional positions to oversee concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, in Wisconsin. The growing number of large farms in the state has contributed to increasing concerns over the potential for pollution.

Gov. Tony Evers’ budget proposal would have raised annual pollution permit fees from $345 to $660, as well as institute a new $3,270 fee that would be paid every five years. Lawmakers rejected that proposal. However, they did approve four out of the five positions proposed for CAFO permitting, inspection and enforcement. They also approved transferring 9.5 positions to oversee large farms.

State Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, thought the governor’s proposed fees were excessive, but he said garnering support for additional positions was a struggle.

"It shouldn’t have been that way because we have to have a deeper understanding that if you don’t have people working in the wastewater permit section, you’re going to have problems," he said.

He said those positions are needed to help farms maintain compliance with the law. The DNR continues to address a backlog of CAFO permits. Data from the DNR website […]

More about CAFOs, Wisconsin, and drinking water in America’s farming communities:

In the Heart of the Corn Belt, an Uphill Battle for Clean Water

DNR scoring system fails to protect Iowa water, air, health

‘Fecal Soup’: Wisconsin Well Water Would Horrify You

How one Wisconsin farm pursues land and water conservation

Wisconsin Farm Group Admits Tainting Drinking Water, Keeps Failing Residents

Groundwater wells: concern as Wisconsin reduces regulations

Elevated Nitrate Levels Found in Millions of Americans’ Drinking Water

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Differences Remain Over Addressing CAFO Compliance, Enforcement
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Differences Remain Over Addressing CAFO Compliance, Enforcement
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No one is fully satisfied with Joint Finance Committee actions on fees and jobs to oversee concentrated animal feeding operations, CAFOs, in Wisconsin.
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Wisconsin Public Radio
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