Lee Luft

Kewaunee County Board Supervisor Lee Luft said he was encouraged by the Natural Resources Board’s unanimous 7-0 vote Wednesday to approve changes to the manure spreading regulations in administrative rule NR 151.

Luft, who was among about two dozen members of the public who spoke in support of the rules, shared his at-the-scene observations in an email to friends and supporters:

… While I had the chance to speak to the Board, there were many others from Kewaunee and Door County who also spoke with great conviction on the need for these new regulations in areas like ours, with shallow soils and fractured bedrock.  Jodi Parins, Dick Swanson, Don Niles, Lynn Utesch, and John Rybski all made the trip to Madison and did a great job of relating the need for enhanced regulation of manure spreading in areas with Karst geology.  Those from Kewaunee County were joined by more than 20 others speakers who all spoke in favor of the newly proposed regulations. 

After the unanimous vote, the Natural Resources Board members spoke very highly of the multi-year effort that brought us to today’s approval. 

Dr. Frederick Prehn said he wanted to “applaud the relentless efforts our citizens in bringing these issues to the attention of the DNR leadership.  Dr. Prehn asked for and received a commitment from the DNR to report back annually on the DNR’s efforts to monitor and enforce these new regulations and to carefully measure the progress in clean water here. 

William Bruins (a farmer member of the Natural Resources Board) said he expected farmers to do the right thing and NOT wait until their CAFO or other permits need to be renewed to enact the changes specified in these new regulations. 

Preston Cole (Board Member) said, “We don’t have five years to wait” and Board Member Gregory Kazmierski said he expects to see science-based testing so that Kewaunee County’s nearly 30% well contamination rate begins a steady decline.

All in all it was about as positive outcome as we could have wanted.  Now these new regulations go “across the street” to the State Capitol for review and a hoped for approval by the Governor and the Wisconsin Legislature …