A state Department of Natural Resources official says no matter what is decided about a wastewater discharge permit for a large dairy operation in Fond du Lac County, the DNR is not setting policy. That statement prefaced a public hearing for the Rosendale Dairy's permit and an environmental impact statement Thursday night in Ripon. About 700 people representing all aspects of farming and environmental interests attended.
Tom Bauman, DNR Wastewater Engineer, says public response to their announcement about the proposed operation led to issuing the environmental impact statement. The dairy will house and milk 4,000 dairy cows to begin with and could double that size in the next few years.
Melissa Malott of Clean Wisconsin says they aren't opposed to farming, but is concerned what environmental impact spreading 46 million gallons of liquid waste, primarily manure, will have.
One of the partners in the dairy, Jim Ostrum, says a lot of people contributed to a dairy plan over the past two years that will be environmentally responsible. Ostrum says the project represents a $70 million investment.
The DNR is taking written comments on the environmental impact statement and discharge permit until February 4th.
Contributed by Bob Nelson-KFIZ