Good Afternoon Secretary Stepp:
Another cold, windy, and crisp day along the shores of Lake Superio For many of us this is how winter should be and for others it leads to more longing for spring. In addition to this weather report, I do have the following questions:
1.How many CAFO or CAFO like operations have contacted your office seeking permits to establish large hog/cattle/dairy/poultry facilities which will be "confined' animal operations in Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, and Iron Counties?
In Bayfield County there is the the Badgerwood LLC swine proposed CAFO. In Iron County there is a preliminary application for a permit for Kretzschmar dairy. This is an existing operation that is working on a WPDES application. There are no permit applications in Douglas or Ashland Counties.
2. As your department seems to be struggling with fewer employees and reorganization, who is the contact person for future questions regarding the operation of these factory farms?
Staff assignments to individual counties are listed at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/AgBusiness/CAFO/Contacts.html This site also lists staff in the Runoff Management Section in DNR’s Central Office. Duane Popple out of Eau Claire is the staff person assigned to the four Lake Superior counties, in addition to other counties in northern and western Wisconsin. Because Duane is currently on medical leave, we are covering the workload in Duane’s areas with help from other staff in the program. At this time, I am serving as the contact for the public on the Badgerwood permit.
3. Who does the inspection of these factory farms and how often are these inspections completed?
The regional staff people assigned to the various counties throughout the state typically conduct the inspections in their county. However, some operations may be shifted to other regional staff based on workload on a case-by-case basis. CAFOs are inspected at least once a five year permit term, typically in the last year of the permit term. Inspections or site visits may occur more frequently based on:
- Citizen complaints
- Identified compliance issues at the site
- Construction activities at the site
4. Who reviews these inspection reports?
Regional staff assigned to a given county are responsible for conducting inspections at operations in their county (unless otherwise assigned). Inspection reports are public records and can be reviewed by anyone who requests an operation’s inspection report