Wednesday , 26 July 2017

March 15, 2017 E-News

DANE COUNTY LOOKS FOR NEW WAY TO REDUCE NITROGEN, PHOSPHORUS RUNOFF – Dane County farmers could see a new option for reducing runoff from manure spreading. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced his proposal for a community manure storage program earlier this week, saying $1.1 million would be available to build a manure management system for small and medium-sized producers in the county. Some in the agriculture industry say the idea of shared storage is an innovative approach to a problem experienced by many farms in the state. “It would be a really positive step for us to be looking at this as a community instead of each farmer all by themselves and their business is only their business,” said Amber Radatz, co-director of University of Wisconsin’s Discovery Farms. Radatz works with farmers on nutrient management, and she said it’s often hard for small farms to avoid spreading manure during late winter and spring, the riskiest times for runoff. http://www.wpr.org/dane-county-looks-new-way-reduce-nitrogen-phosphorus-runoff

ALMOST 50 WISCONSIN LAWMAKERS SIGN ONTO BILL TO REMOVE LEAD LINES – Almost 50 legislators from both parties have signed onto a measure that would let utility companies raise rates to help customers replace dangerous lead service lines. Still, its sponsor, Republican Sen. Robert Cowles of Green Bay, warned supporters at the bill’s Senate committee hearing Wednesday to expect some opposition. Opponents could take issue with updated language in the bill that requires the Public Service Commission to consider the cost of utility companies’ lead service line replacement financing programs when setting rates. Cowles made the change after utility companies said the bill would have little impact without it. Utility companies, realtors and environmental groups showed up in support of the measure, arguing that protecting public health in exchange for negligible rate increases is a no-brainer. Cowles’ spokesman, Jason Mugnaini, said the office hasn’t heard from anyone against the measure yet. The bill allows municipalities and utilities to decide how they want to structure the financing programs, which could come in the form of grants or low-interest loans. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/wisconsin/articles/2017-03-08/bill-to-replace-lead-lines-would-let-utilities-raise-rates

CRITICS SAY FAST-MOVING WELLS BILL IGNORES URGENT WATER ILLS – Wisconsin’s farm lobby is pressing lawmakers to lock in permits for high-capacity wells through legislation scheduled for a joint legislative hearing on Wednesday. But residents who have seen lakes and streams dry up are pushing back and pointing to decades of scientific data and recent research to counter farm groups that maintain more study is needed before any reviews of existing high-volume wells are allowed. This year the Senate version has been introduced in both houses without a provision from last year’s Assembly bill that would have expanded legal rights of people living near the wells whose access to water was harmed. The legislation would eliminate any state review of the impact on other water users of existing industrial grade wells when it is being replaced, repaired or sold. Those are the only times the state Department of Natural Resources reevaluates wells that pump at least 100,000 gallons a day because high-capacity well permits never expire. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/environment/critics-say-fast-moving-wells-bill-ignores-urgent-water-ills/article_9c173e87-10c9-5e86-97bf-ccef39457013.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

KOHLER CO. SEEKS TO LIMIT WETLANDS LOSS FROM GOLF COURSE ALONG LAKE MICHIGAN – Kohler Co. is seeking to downplay environmental worries over the construction of a new golf course along Lake Michigan in Sheboygan County, telling regulators it will minimize wetlands destruction. The company submitted its long-awaited application to state and federal regulators this week for a luxurious 18-hole golf course along the shoreline, located just north of Kohler-Andrae State Park. The plans call for the elimination of 3.69 acres of wetlands — far less than initially planned, but only about an acre less of wetland loss than the figure the company used last summer. Kohler says it will initially invest $25 million in the course, which will include a 9,000-square-foot clubhouse, restaurant and observation tower. Kohler hopes to start construction in 2018 and open in 2020. http://www.sheboyganpress.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/09/kohler-co-seeks-limit-wetlands-loss-golf-course-along-lake-michigan/98913392/

RDApply setup assistance available AT WRWA Conference – RDApply is an application intake system that allows you to apply for loans and grants for Rural Development for water and sewer systems under the Water and Environmental Program (WEP).  With RDApply, you can create an application, upload attachments, sign certifications to name a few features.  It allows customers to access information 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Accessing RDApply requires a Level 2 eAuth account. eAuth is the Security System that RDApply utilizes for access.  Applicants can access via the eAuth Page by clicking Register (https://identitymanager.eems.usda.gov/registration/selfRegistrationForm.aspx?level=2) or by going directly to RDApply at https://rdapply.usda.gov.  At the WRWA Conference Rural Development booth, Jennifer Engel will be available for questions on Wednesday, if you wish to try the first step by accessing one of the links above, it will speed authorization process.

WRWA ANNUAL TECHNICAL CONFERENCE – Less than two weeks until the WRWA 29th Annual Technical Conference is held March 28-31 in LaCrosse. With 1,500 anticipated attendees and 230 exhibit booths this should be the largest WRWA conference ever. Don’t miss the opening session and awards presentation, Sportsman’s Raffle prize drawings, banquet; poster, video and water taste contests and over 40-hours of training sessions throughout the week. This conference has something for everyone in the water & wastewater industries. For more information, go to http://www.wrwa.org/wrwa-annual-technical-conference/

QUOTE– “If the grass is greener on the other side, you can bet the water bill is higher.”- Debbie Macomber

“This week’s issue of the Rural Water E-News is sponsored by the following WRWA Corporate Gold Members and Businesses:”

 

 

“For information on WRWA Corporate Gold member benefits and other advertising opportunities, contact Renee at rkoback@wrwa.org.”

David Lawrence
WRWA Executive Director
(715) 344-7778
dlawrence@wrwa.org
www.wrwa.org

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