Saturday , 25 March 2017

October 5, 2016 E-News

DNR TO FUND MANURE REGULATION – The Department of Natural Resources plans to add more staff to regulate the state’s biggest farms, but environmental groups say the farms should also pay higher fees to fund a program that was criticized in a recent legislative audit. While it is planning to cut overall spending in the next budget, the DNR has proposed moving four employees into a program that regulates the largest livestock operations. Concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, have cattle populations that can reach into the thousands and produce as much waste as some Wisconsin cities. In its 2017-’19 budget that goes to the Natural Resources Board on Wednesday, DNR officials are proposing to increase overall staffing in the CAFO program to 21. At least two of the positions, and possibly more, would be deployed to the field to monitor farm activities, including manure spreading.

DANE COUNTY EXECUTIVE JOE PARISI TO INVEST $12 MILLION IN STREAM WATER PHOSPHOROUS REMOVAL – Years’ worth of accrued sludge at the bottom of Dane County streams, which contributes to phosphorous leaching into area lakes, will be targeted for removal as part of Dane County Executive Joe Parisi’s 2017 budget. Parisi is proposing to invest $12 million over the next four years to remove 870,000 pounds of algae-causing phosphorous in 33 miles of streams leading into county lakes. The effort will cost about $15 to remove each pound of phosphorous, according to a county statement. A study funded by the county two years ago has shown that if the sludge at the bottom of the streams is not removed, it will take 99 years to see a 50 percent reduction in phosphorous that could cost $78 million, a price estimated by Yahara CLEAN. The environmental group is a partnership between the city, county, state Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

TWO WISCONSIN FRAC SAND MINES RESUME OPERATION – Two frac sand mines have resumed operations near Eau Claire and Menomonie after more than a yearlong downturn in demand for the sand used in drilling for oil and natural gas. Texas-based Hi-Crush Proppants has reopened its Augusta facility while Ohio-based Fairmount Santrol has reopened a mine and processing center in Menomonie. Both shut down after prices and demand for Wisconsin’s “northern white” industrial sand crashed in 2015. Fairmount Operations Manager Rich Budinger is optimistic demand is beginning to rebound. “We’re bringing back a one-shift operation, essentially seven employees are coming back to work in that location and then we’re going to be producing industrial, recreation products is going to be our focus,” Budinger said. That means instead of just producing sand for oil and gas drillers, the Menomonie plant will focus on sand used in applications like golf courses, foundries and glass-making.

EPA PARTNERS WITH STATES TO REDUCE NUTRIENT POLLUTION – Nutrient pollution remains one of America’s most widespread and costly environmental and public health challenges, threatening the prosperity and quality of life of communities across the nation. Over the last 50 years, the amount of excess nitrogen and phosphorus in our waterways has steadily increased, impacting water quality, feeding harmful algal blooms, and affecting drinking water sources. From the Lake Erie algae blooms to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, nutrient pollution is impacting every corner of our country and economy. In 2011, EPA urged a renewed emphasis on partnering with the states and key stakeholders to accelerate the reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. States have worked with partners to reduce excess nutrients and achieve state water quality standards in over 60 waterways, leaving nearly 80,000 acres of lakes and ponds and more than 900 miles of rivers and streams cleaner and healthier.

WEBINAR: FREE PREPAREDNESS RESOURCES FOR WATER & WASTEWATER UTILITIES – Learn about new resources that can support your utility in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from all types of emergencies during our November 9th Webinar from 1-2pm Eastern Time. The webinar will benefit water utility operators and managers, state and tribal primacy agencies, drinking water and wastewater utility stakeholders, and water utility partners and associations. Training contact hours are available for water and wastewater operators in some states. To register, go to

THE DEADLINE FOR INTENT TO APPLY & PRIORITY EVALUATION AND RANKING FORMULA NEARS – Reminder: October 31, 2016 is the deadline for SFY 2018 ITA/PERF (pre-application) submittals for a project to be eligible for funding between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. This deadline requirement applies to all types of projects fund-ed under both the Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP) and the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP), including pro-jects for replacement of private lead service lines (LSLs). Variance requests from this ITA/PERF deadline requirement will NOT be routinely approved for SFY 2018 private LSL replacement projects. The on-line system is ready for SFY 2018 ITA/PERF submittals. To access and learn about the on-line submittal system and process, visit

QUOTE – “The older you get, the older you want to get.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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David Lawrence
WRWA Executive Director
(715) 344-7778

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