The Kewaunee County Board has reiterated its firm stand in support of state regulations designed to protect groundwater from contamination when manure is spread over farm fields.
Supervisors signed on to a letter authored by County Conservationist Davina Bonness, urging the state Natural Resources Board to pass the revisions contained in a DNR Groundwater Collaboration Workgroup final report.
The addition to Natural Resources rule 151 (NR 151) sets limits to liquid and solid manure spreading on fields in areas of the state with 2-3 feet, 3-5 feet, and 5-20 feet of soil depth above Silurian bedrock. That includes parts of 15 counties, including Kewaunee, Door, Brown and Outagamie counties.
The goal is to minimize the risk of leaching pathogens through the shallow, fragile bedrock into groundwater.
“Any attempt to limit this common sense, carefully balanced and reasonable limitation would run counter to the work completed by the Technical Advisory Committee and would weaken what has become a reasonable way to address the concerns of the various people involved in the process,” Bonness wrote.
The County Board in September unanimously passed a resolution supporting the NR 151 revisions as written. The letter reaffirming that stand is a response to efforts by dairy industry lobbyists to scale back the rules.
Supervisor Mary Ellen Dobbins encouraged board members to call the DNR in addition to signing the letter.
“We worked all this time, all the workgroups, and I would hate to see our work watered down,” Dobbins said.
The Natural Resources Board is scheduled to consider the rule when it meets in Madison on Jan. 24-25.