Saturday , 25 February 2017

February 24, 2016 E-News

2-MILE-LONG MANURE SPILL REACHES TROUT STREAM IN GRANT COUNTY – State and local authorities were overseeing cleanup of manure that spilled from a dairy farm near Fennimore in Grant County and flowed 2 miles to a trout stream on Thursday. It wasn’t clear how much manure was released or if there was serious damage to wildlife, but neighbors said they were advised to drink bottled water and test their wells. The farm, Misty Morning Dairy, 3679 Wood Road, obtained a state permit to expand as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation with more than 1,700 animals in 2014, just a year after the state was forced to hire a hauler to empty the farm’s 1-million-gallon manure pit to avoid a spill. Around 7 a.m. Thursday, the owner notified the state Department of Natural Resources that a hose coupling had failed sometime during the night, agency spokesman George Althoff said.

50 TROUT DEAD IN GRANT COUNTY STREAM AFTER BIG MANURE SPILL – Nearly 50 dead trout have been found in Castle Rock Creek since an unattended pump malfunctioned at a large dairy operation and sent manure streaming 2 miles to the popular Grant County fishing destination. The full extent of the fish kill wasn’t known Monday because the Class II trout stream’s waters are deep and murky this time of year, state Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor David Rowe said Monday. “It’s hard to tell how affected the fishery is, but it’s not an overnight fix,” Rowe said. “It may take a while for it to recover, depending on how many fish were killed.”

ASSEMBLY PASSES WELL LEGISLATION – AB 874 would ease potential regulatory roadblocks for owners of high-capacity wells by specifying that a farmer, for example, would not have to apply for a new permit when making upgrades or transferring it to a new owner. The bill passed 57-35 and goes to the Senate. Environmentalists say the bill could hamper the DNR’s ability to use its permit authority to address groundwater problems in high-use areas such as central Wisconsin, especially when farms are growing into large-scale operations. The Assembly adopted an extensive amendment by Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) seeking to address some of those problems. For example, the DNR could recommend special regulations for special study areas to prevent damage to local streams whose hydrology is tied to the water table, under his changes. Even though his changes were adopted, Krug voted against the bill. “I think it just fell a little bit short still,” he said of his decision.

DEEP DIVIDE ON WAUKESHA PLAN ON DISPLAY FOR GREAT LAKES REPS – Supporters and opponents of Waukesha’s request for a Lake Michigan water supply took one last shot Thursday at influencing officials from Great Lakes states who will approve or deny the unprecedented plan. The public hearing at Carroll University drew a crowd of more than 200 people, and half of them either praised or panned the proposal. Supporters lauded it for tapping lake water to protect public health, allowing Waukesha to shut down deep wells drawing radium-contaminated water. Critics said the plan cloaked a desire for suburban growth under the guise of drinking water necessity.

WATER PRIVATIZATION BILL PROBABLY CAN’T BE REVIVED, GOP LEADER SAYS – A controversial bill to make it easier for for-profit corporations to buy municipal water and sewer utilities appears dead. A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Wednesday that Republicans who control the Senate weren’t satisfied with the proposal. “Senator Fitzgerald has said that while he believes the proposal has merit, AB 554 is likely dead this session after efforts to craft an amendment which addressed our members’ concerns were not successful,” spokeswoman Myranda Tanck said. The GOP-controlled Assembly passed the bill Jan. 12 and a Senate committee approved it on a 3-2 party-line vote Jan. 28. Late Monday, the proposal was added to the Tuesday agenda for the full Senate, but during the floor session it was removed without public discussion or announcement.

DNR TO UPDATE WISCONSIN RIVER PLAN – Almost a year after its first projected release, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials say an updated master plan for the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway is days away. More than 25 years after the original plan was released, Lower Wisconsin Riverway DNR property manager Matt Seguin said the new proposal will focus on recreation and resource management. He said he could not discuss any highlights or details ahead of its release. “We’re just finishing the draft, so it could be as soon as by the end of the month or first of March,” Seguin said.

FEMA ANNOUNCES GRANT OPPORTUNITIES – FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provides funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages including the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA). The application period opens March 15, 2016 and grants can be used for Planning sub-applications for developing or updating an existing hazard mitigation plan, Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities (CRMAs), Non-flood mitigation projects, Flood mitigation projects and Generators for critical facilities. For information go to

CROSS CONNECTION SURVEY SUMMARY REPORT Just a reminder to municipal water systems that the deadline for submitting your annual cross connection survey summary report is due before March 1st. A template for the report is available on the WRWA website at

QUOTE – “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar

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David Lawrence
WRWA Executive Director
(715) 344-7778

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