Jul 14, 2016

Wisconsin Manure Spill Brings Water Contamination Warnings in Beautiful Region

Calumet County in Wisconsin is on the eastern shore of the huge inland lake, Winnebago.

As recently as the 1970s-80s, swimmers in the summer could hug the lake shore from Fond du Lac and swim north some 10 miles to the Columbia Park observation tower to meet friends, and if she were young and had not consumed too many beers, head north to Calumet County

Beautiful area. County and state parks and campsites dot the lake, a little to the south lies the awe-inspiring Kettle Moraine region.

Summer news reports the latest injection of 10,000s of gallons of liquid cow manure into Lake Winnebago has resulted in water contamination warnings.

Observers may ask why the water poisoners, industrial agricultural operations, are allowed to toxify the waters, (WLUK-TV, Wisconsin Public Radio), and why contamination is now a frequent occurrence in Wisconsin surface and ground waters.

Why would some ass do this and why isn't water protection a top priority in Wisconsin?

Because the poisoner, named Gordon Speirs—president of the Dairy Business Association and owner of the industrialized Shiloh Dairy LLC CAFO in Calumet County in the city of Brillion, Wisconsin—and industrialized agriculture make big money, and not polluting would be a cost to them.

Speirs and his ilk do not care about the costs to the waters that they treat like sewers in which they dump their untreated cow manure.

Protection of clean water falls to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Department of Justice. Both agencies are now Republican operations funded ultimately by Republican donors who will not tolerate state and country efforts to protect safe and clean water.

As Big Ag has taken over the state with the toxic CAFO business model, areas such as east-central Wisconsin take a big hit.

These are costs Big Ag is willing to see the people of Wisconsin pay for the profits of Big Ag.

Big Ag has purchased the Wisconsin governor, the Wisconsin attorney general, Wisconsin Republican legislators, and many county governments in this largely rural state.

As Wisconsin lakes, streams and aquifers are contaminated each year by industrial CAFOs, many people will leave the state, fleeing what is becoming a colony for corporations protected by Republicans.

Young friends and lovers will have to find other ways than swimming of meeting in the Wisconsin summers.

Pollution of water is bad and getting worse, and polluters across Wisconsin are more brazen in how they tell clean water advocates to get lost.

A large summit addressing water polluters is planned for September in Green Bay.

In Kewaunee County Wisconsin, northeast of Lake Winnebago, the chair of the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee is a polluter and member of the Dairy Business Association (DBA), who uses his country committee chairmanship to protect other DBA polluters.

From the Green Press Gazette:

Pagel promises obstruction

Claiming that significant “momentum” is underway by farmers in Kewaunee County and defining that as the “right direction” to be finding a balance between clean water, public health and industrial dairy financial profit, while addressing known groundwater pollution in Kewaunee County, John Pagel, the county’s largest liquid manure producer and chair of the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee, declared his personal inflexibility on the issue of groundwater pollution regulation with a public accusation that forces are trying to stymie that “momentum,” when he finished his sentence with, “there are some people that are trying to take that away from us, but I’m not going to let them.”

Pagel then insinuated the existence of a near insolvable rift in the Groundwater Work Group membership by literally pointing to the members sitting on either end of the tables, and to their needing to begin working together, and that they hadn’t been doing so thus far when he repeatedly insisted the sooner cooperation ensued, the better. That statement seemed exceptionally hypocritical coming from the work group member who just declared his intended obstruction to recommendations being reported from the Groundwater Work Group.

Mr Pagel went on to employ what easily fits the definition of the proverbial “victim” card, claiming that the factions needed to begin to work together, “… without accusations and insulting and so on and so forth …” Ask yourself, who appears to be making accusations and who appears to be issuing actual insults? Perhaps another definition, “psychological projection,” should be recommended research for those who don’t know of it.

The unmistakable initial value of the public meeting and presentation of the June 2016 Groundwater Work Group Report for Kewaunee County, to me, seems quite obvious. A self-declared obstructionist to the reported direction for addressing groundwater pollution, which may not fit one person’s interests or views as to the “proper” direction to pursue, currently chairs the county committee which is tasked with bringing resolutions for those pollutant solutions officially before the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors for further action.

The sentiment from those people attending, overwhelmingly appeared to be, let us finally begin to implement the solutions being presented and a call for immediate action. Despite their county corporation counsel’s opinion about what constitutes a legal conflict of interest, the removal and replacement of a county supervisor from an initially appointed committee chair position, to the best of my understanding, does not require that high of a legal bar to begin that said removal action. My understanding is that any committee chairperson serves solely at the pleasure of the county board chair.

Donald Freix
Fish Creek

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