Wisconsin dairy CAFO (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR)
Hearings begin today on proposed revisions to state rules affecting CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) and similar large scale livestock facilities, and they promise to generate opposition from farm operations the rules target, support from environmental and small farm groups — and demands for even stricter regulation of the operations.
The state regulations under review limit the power local governments have to regulate new or expanded livestock facilities. The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s proposed revisions are the first since the rule — known as ATCP 51 — was established in 2006.
The proposed regulation change would enable stronger rules to combat odors from large operations and grant local governments a bigger say in the permitting process for large livestock facilities.
Support for the proposed rule change comes from the Wisconsin Farmers Union, whose membership consists generally of smaller farms, along with environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club. Some groups, even as they support proposed revisions, are also calling for further tightening regulations on big livestock operations.
Hearings will take place in six communities, with sessions in each one from 1-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.:
- Oshkosh: Thursday, Aug. 15; James P. Coughlin Center, 625 E. County Road Y.
- Eau Claire: Monday, Aug. 19; Chippewa Valley Technical College, 620 W. Clairemont Ave.
- Wausau: Tuesday, Aug. 20, Entrepreneurial & Education Center, 100 N. 72d Ave.
- Madison: Thursday, Aug. 22, State Agricultural Building, 2811 Agriculture Drive.
- Onalaska: Wednesday, Sept. 4, Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center, 3060 S. Kinney Coulee Road;
- Spooner: Thursday, Sept. 5, DNR Service Center, 810 W. Maple St.
DATCP will also accept comments through Friday, Sept. 13, delivered at one of the hearings in writing or in spoken presentations; via email at [email protected]; online or by mail to DATCP-ARM, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708.
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