Too often I see or hear jaw-dropping accounts of what seem to be blatant violations of existing clean air and clean water protection laws. I also hear about the incomprehensible lack of will by lawmakers to use those laws to stop and punish violators. The stories are about industries releasing chemical waste and polluted water from plants into a lake or stream, or a farmer slathering the countryside with liquid manure that seeps into the ground water. Lately, it’s the blatant disregard for laws banning the burning of illegal materials. In Kewaunee County you don’t have to go far to see plumes of dark smoke on the horizon. Viewed closer some of these burns include tires, shingles and silage bags sending clouds of black and toxic smoke into the air. Some of these clouds will travel miles from the source. Here’s a video of another recent burn in Kewaunee County. Fortunately a concerned citizen reported this incident to the DNR and a warden was able to take photos and document details.
The governor and state legislators need to give the Department of Natural Resources citation authority so laws can be enforced and penalties can be assessed. In my opinion, repeating violators of illegal burning laws are as bad as repeat OWI offenders. Eventually licenses to operate should be taken away. Please let your county and state leaders know how you feel about this issue. Whenever you see violations happening, report it. The numbers to call are on this blog site.