A public hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 22 regarding a proposed Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit for the latest concentrated animal feeding operation in Kewaunee County – and a second hearing has been set later that afternoon on the renewal of a WPDES permit for another CAFO.
Unlike a hearing Nov. 28 that covered five different CAFO permits in one fell swoop, the Jan. 22 hearings are separate: A hearing for Legend Farms Dairy LLC, N4679 State Highway 42, Kewaunee, is scheduled for 1 p.m., and a hearing for Hall’s Calf Ranch, E2304 County Road F, Kewaunee, is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.
Both hearings are scheduled at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Exhibition Building, 625 Third St., Luxemburg.
Some speakers at the Nov. 28 hearing objected to the format after being limited to a single 5-minute comment covering all five operations, rather than 5 minutes per CAFO.
Legend Farms Dairy, which is seeking its first WPDES, is an existing dairy operation run by Keith Duescher that recently has expanded to CAFO size, defined as 1,000 or more animal units. In fact, the farm was issued a Notice of Violation in October for apparently operating without a WPDES permit for some time before it filed its permit application earlier this year.
According to the public notice of the hearing, Legend Farms Dairy “currently has 800 milking and dry cows and 20 beef cattle; expansion to 900 milking and dry and 50 beef cattle is proposed in 2018. The facility generates about 10.4 million gallons of liquid manure and process wastewater that will be applied to 892 acres of cropland according to an approved nutrient management plan.”
The permit allows discharges into unnamed tributaries of Krok Creek within the East Twin River watershed. The effective dates of the permit are Feb. 1, 2018, through Jan. 31, 2023.
Hall’s Calf Ranch currently has 8,200 dairy calves equivalent to 1,640 animal units. It generates 1.9 million gallons and 6,650 tons of manure and process wastewater on an annual basis, affecting the East Twin River.
The operation has no plans to expand during the five-year term of its new permit, which would run March 1, 2018, through Feb. 28, 2023.
The DNR has made a preliminary determination that both permits can be issued. People who cannot appear at the public hearing can send written comments up to seven days after the hearing to the permit drafter, Casey Jones, DNR, Oshkosh Service Center, 625 E. County Road Y, Oshkosh, WI 54901 or Casey.Jones@Wisconsin.gov.