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Saratoga Board Okays Measures Aimed at Stopping CAFO
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/06/2016

A local Wood County township is taking yet another step to prevent a large dairy operation from being constructed in its neighborhood. Last week, supervisors in the town of Saratoga passed an ordinance that would enforce existing regulations on manure spreading in order to protect groundwater contamination, and approved a separate policy that would regulating the storage of solid manure. The board approved the regulations in an attempt to kill the proposed Golden Sands Dairy project, which would house 5,300 animals and produce 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25,000 tons of solid manure each year.

Specifically, the Livestock Operation Ordinance gives the municipality authority to implement manure management standards imposed by the Department of Natural Resources and provides a procedure for the town to take action when manure application contributes to an exceedance of a drinking water standard in nitrates, pathogens or other contaminants.

Attorney Paul Kent says the ordinance cites extensive findings describing the dangers to groundwater from manure application on the area's sensitive sandy soils.

"The findings are based on scientific research, real-world experience and modeling that show that land application of manure poses a great risk of groundwater contamination, particularly nitrates," Kent said. "For the Town's 5,385 residents that rely on private wells for their drinking water this is a critical public health matter."

He says the second ordinance addresses manure storage and gives the town the authority to implement the manure storage standards imposed by DNR.

The Golden Sands Dairy is being built by the Wysocki Family of Companies, which first unveiled plans for the dairy in June 2012. The dispute between locals and the farm led to a lawsuit, which the Wysockis won. However, neighbors are still trying to appeal the decision on whether the farm should be granted the necessary building and operating permits.

The Wysocki Family also owns the Central Sands Dairy in Adams County and an 8,400-acre potato and vegetable operation in Portage County.

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