MEA Files Motion to Intervene in a Lawsuit that Threatens to Eliminate Environmental Oversight of CAFOs

cafo barn

Madison, WI—On September 5, MEA filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit that could eliminate critical environmental oversight of Wisconsin’s largest livestock operations. The petition was filed on behalf of Wisconsin Farmers Union and submitted jointly with Clean Wisconsin.

The lawsuit was originally filed against the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by Wisconsin Dairy Alliance and Venture Dairy Cooperative, lobbying groups that represent the interests of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

The CAFO groups allege the DNR lacks authority to require large livestock operations housing more than 1,000 animal units to apply for permits under Wisconsin’s water pollution permitting program.

While the permitting program isn’t perfect, it is a critical tool for protecting the health of Wisconsinites whose drinking water comes from private wells.

A single CAFO can house thousands of animals and generate more waste than a small city. Without DNR oversight, it would be nearly impossible to obtain information about where and how Wisconsin’s 330 CAFOs dispose of the massive amount of manure they produce.

With the help of MEA supporters, we will make sure this dangerous attempt to undermine basic water quality protections in Wisconsin does not succeed.


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