Legislation being offered by a pair of lawmakers from northeastern Wisconsin would require the state Department Natural Resources to identify and protect areas that are susceptible to groundwater contamination, due to shallow soil depths and topographical features known as karst. A GOP state lawmaker says the bill isn’t a serious effort.
State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said the bill he and Representative Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) have proposed would aim to reduce groundwater contamination from manure spreading by concentrated animal feeding operations – known as CAFOS – “in rural areas where the makeup of the land cannot support high-volume manure spreading.”
“Somethings got to happen,” Hansen said. “We have these increasing number of farms of all sizes – not just CAFOS – where they spread manure in an area where the groundwater is especially vulnerable to activities that take place on the surface.”
“We’re trying to work out recommendations that will really address the issue,” said Representative Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay). Kitchens represents Kewaunee County, which is home to some 100,000 dairy cattle, and where contaminated wells have become an issue.
“Their bill, it’s really just a political stunt,” Kitchens said. They didn’t try to get my support or any other Republicans. They didn’t even talk to the DNR. It’s a very important issue, and I don’t want to play political games with it. I just want to solve it.”