Sep 16, 2015

Nitrate Levels in Groundwater at Central Sands Dairy Exceed Safe Standard by Seven Times

The Central Sands Dairy in Juneau County Wisconsin is promoted as the state-of-the-art model for the proposed massive Golden Sands Dairy in Saratoga (Agri-View).

This frightens area residents in Wood and Adams County as a new report shows massive nitrate levels in area groundwater monitoring wells at Central Sands.

Both Central Sands and Golden Sands are owned by the Wysocki Family of Companies, whose corporate officers live safely off-site from the massive industrialized Central Sands Dairy site and Golden Sands sites.

The Central Sands Dairy news of groundwater contamination follows a decision from Gov. Scott Walker's new polluter-friendly Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource's (DNR).

The DNR decided last week to "to approve a water pollution permit for an industrial livestock operation expansion in Kewaunee County. The agency refused to uphold portions of an October 2014 Administrative Law Judge decision ordering the agency to use its authority under state law to limit the number of animals in the facility and to require a groundwater monitoring plan for pollution from manure landspreading. Petitioners in this case will review options for appeal," as noted by the Midwest Environmental Advocates.

Environmental groups asked the EPA to monitor wells in Kewaunee County last year.

Under Scott Walker's administration the Wisconsin DNR has become a rubber stamp for polluters, actually providing political and legal cover for polluters.

A press release by an attorney for the Town of Saratoga is reproduced below:

TOWN OF ARMENIA, JUNEAU COUNTY, Wis. [September 14, 2015]  -- Groundwater monitoring wells at Central Sands Dairy measured during three consecutive quarters in 2014 and 2015 demonstrate the presence of nitrates in the groundwater that are well above the state drinking water standard of 10 parts per million, according to the most recent report filed with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources by RJN Environmental Services. Central Sands monitoring well 4 (CSD4) now reports nitrates at 77 ppm, more than seven times the state standard. Nitrate levels have risen from 60 ppm to 77ppm in CSD4 in just nine months, according to the report, and other on-site monitoring wells also consistently demonstrate levels above the state standard.

CSD4 is located up-gradient of the manure lagoon, but down-gradient of fields on which liquid manure land application has occurred. This is significant, according to Attorney Paul Kent, representing the neighboring Town of Saratoga, “because it demonstrates significant nitrate contamination from the land-application of manure.”

The Wysocki Family of Companies, which owns and manages the Central Sands Dairy, is proposing to build a 5300-head dairy operation known as the Golden Sands Dairy on nearly 8,000 acres, most of which are in the Town of Saratoga.  The facility would generate 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25,000 tons of solid manure annually.  Golden Sands is proposing to clear-cut nearly 4600 acres of managed pine forest in the Town and convert it to irrigated cropland onto which the manure would be applied, Kent said.  Like the land on which Central Sands Dairy resides in Armenia, the proposed Golden Sands Dairy would be sited on sandy soil that has been classified as ‘highly susceptible to groundwater contamination’ by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Kent said.

If approved, each year Golden Sands Dairy would land-apply 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25,000 tons of solid manure on roughly one-quarter of the property in the Town, all of which lies within one-quarter mile of more than 400 homes. “A repeat of the Central Sands results in Saratoga would be devastating,” he said, “to private wells, public facilities, trout streams, businesses, recreational facilities and overall quality of life.”

It’s important to note, Kent added, that the Town and its citizens oppose neither agriculture nor dairying, as a rule. “The opposition is to this facility on this site, on this geology. An operation of this size and tenor has no place on land deemed ‘highly susceptible to groundwater contamination’ by the USGS.  “The well monitoring results from Central Sands Dairy in Armenia clearly demonstrate the problem with this kind of operation in on this kind of soil.”
About Saratoga Township

A township in Wood County, Wisconsin, Saratoga is home to 5,385 residents. It is situated in the southeast corner of the county, bordering Juneau and Adams counties and includes Ten Mile Creek, Ross Lake, a portion of Nepco Lake and Five Mile Creek.  Its predominate land uses are woodlands owned by private landholders, residential subdivisions, limited agriculture (cranberry bogs), commercial developments along highways 13 & 73 and open spaces.

About the USGS

Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, the USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect quality of life.

As the Nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS collects, monitors, analyzes and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues and problems.  The diversity of its scientific expertise enables large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provides impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners and other customers.

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