Weigh in on Livestock Siting

Editor, Daily Union: The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Board is seeking input from all stakeholders regarding proposed revisions to ATCP 51, Livestock Siting Standards.

Have you submitted your public comments yet? Comments will be accepted until Sept. 13.

Based on lessons learned over the last decade, current agricultural challenges, and available research, it’s time to update Livestock Siting Standards.

Here are some questions to consider:

• If an odor scoring system will continue to be used, should it be overhauled?

The Livestock Siting Application currently contains fivevworksheets applicants seeking a conditional-use permit must complete. The odor scoring system on Worksheet 2 is based on information which is 13 to 15 years old, and not reflective of current farming practices.

• Should Odor Management Plans be required, not optional, for facilities over 1,000 animal units?

Does it make sense to remove odor-control credits altogether, since the system lacks sufficient consistency and oversight to ensure reliable results?

For example, composting as a manure storage odor practice may or may not be effective, depending on how it is executed. As residents testified before the county and the DNR, we have not seen good results with composting in Lake Mills.

• Is a sixth worksheet now in order?

Attorney Joe Ruth and Mr. Mike Koles with the Wisconsin Towns Association testified Aug. 15 about wear and tear on roads from hauling manure. They recommend adding a sixth worksheet, addressing roads and infrastructure.

• What can be done to make Livestock Siting Standards more protective of stakeholders?

State Statute 93.90 says proposed Livestock Siting Standards should consider whether they are protective of public health or safety. Both are equally important, with increasingly-resistant emerging zoonotic diseases as well as potential fire risks posed by combustible industrial equipment.

• Is the requirement to notify adjacent neighbors, as currently defined and specified, truly enough to “balance the economic viability of farm operations with protecting natural resources and other common interests?” (State Statute 93.90) Or, would it be better to change the “adjacent neighbor notification” parameter to include all residents (homeowners and renters), business owners, and landowners within 2 miles?

Hear what Kara O’Connor with Wisconsin Farmers Union had to say at the Aug. 22 DATCP hearing at https://wiseye.org/2019/08/22/datcp-livestock-facility-siting-rule-hearing-part-2/ (47:09).

See testimonies of Jefferson County residents Weenonah Brattset, Kirsten Jurcek, and Jessica Jurcek at https://wiseye.org/2019/08/22/datcp-livestock-facility-siting-rule-hearing-part-1/ (1:26-1:33:50).

Please submit your comments to livestocksitingcomments@wisconsin.gov by Sept. 13.

Thank you for weighing in on Livestock Siting. —Sincerely, Anita J. Martin, Lake Mills.

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