Tonight, May 23, from 4:30-5:45 p.m. there will be an informational hearing held at the Kewaunee County Highway Department, E4280 County F in Kewaunee (near Footbridge). Wisconsin DNR staff will be there to answer questions about a proposed expansion by Kinnard Farms near Lincoln. Following at 6 p.m., a formal hearing will be held to hear public comments about the expansion. The DNR has completed an environmental assessment and has concluded that the project is not expected to cause significant environmental effects and that no environmental impact statement will be required.
Well testing of 100 wells, many in the Lincoln area, from May, 2012 has determined that 30% of the private wells are unsafe for drinking due to bacteria and nitrates. That appears to be a significant environmental effect, even before expansion of animal numbers, an additional multimillion gallon manure pit and additional manure spreading on land with less than 50 feet of soil over karst bedrock.
Comments by the public at tonight’s hearing and written comments or objections submitted by May 30 will be used to make the DNR’s final decision. Casey Jones, ag specialist with the DNR was quoted in a recent story in the Kewaunee Star-News that if no changes to the permit are needed, she anticipates a final permit by July 1. It will be interesting to hear the justification for proceeding with a major dairy expansion in an area known to be susceptible to runoff contamination.
Whether you are for or against this expansion project, this is your opportunity to have your input recorded. Stay tuned!