Midwest Environmental Advocates is a nonprofit environmental law center that works for healthy water, air, land and government for this generation and the next. We believe that every citizen has the potential to make a difference.

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Webinar: Public Health Risks from Industrial Dairies

Mar 17, 2014

In case you missed it, Grassroots North Shore in Milwaukee has been sponsoring a series of weekly webinars to help Wisconsinites learn about some of today’s most important public interest issues facing our state. On February 20, 2014, the Information for Activation webinar focused on problems with Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Midwest Environmental Advocates’ executive director, Kim Wright, gave a talk on the basics of the environmental and public health impacts of factory farms.

Wright covered some basic information, including the origins of Midwest Environmental Advocates, the history of the state’s independent Department of Natural Resources Secretary, the importance of the public intervenor’s office and what has changed since the office closed and the DNR secretary became a political appointee. Most recently, environmental law enforcement is down and it is clear that with only eight DNR staff to permit and monitor CAFOs, regulatory staff don’t have the resources or autonomy to protect our health and the health of our environment.

The exponential growth of CAFOs in Wisconsin is becoming a greater threat to public health and livestock siting laws have taken away the ability of local communities to have meaningful say in megafarming practices. In places near Green Bay, in Kewaunee County and in Wisconsin’s Central Sands, the waste management of livestock facilities is pushing the nutrient management plans to the limit as hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid manure is spread on the ground and often ends up in ground and surface water after rainy days. Without adequate monitoring and regulation, the cost and burden to protect resources as basic as drinking water are passed onto citizens like the people living in the Town of Lincoln who were forced to take legal action against their government.

Learn more about CAFOs, problems with factory farming, and what citizens can do to protect their health and the health of their environment in this 30-minute webinar, including good questions from attendees. The good news is that we can all play a role in returning Wisconsin to a place where our economy, our health and our natural resources are in balance. View the webinar online.


/ tagged: water, government, rural, agriculture, drinking water, land