LETTER: Golden Sands CAFO a Danger to the Community
City Times Staff
Dear Rep. Robin Vos-
I read with dismay in [a local newspaper] recently that you are trying to bypass the laws of the land by involving Republican Schimel for “an opinion” on the authority of the DNR to rule on a High Capacity permit request. The “substantial backlog” you are referring to no doubt involves the WYSOCKI CAFO’s request for 39 high capacity wells so they can force the presence of a 5,300 dairy cow factory they are planning in the town of Saratoga.
The State Appeal Court rendered its judgment in 2010 that said the DNR has broad authority to regulate the issuance of high capacity well permits. The Supreme Court ruled in 2011 and confirmed that the DNR has the authority to police these wells.
I realize that as a Republican, you may be viscerally opposed to the DNR and do not sympathize with the plight of the environment. You expect Republican Schimel to render a partisan opinion that better aligns with your views. That is not just wrong, but it is also a tactical error. Why have you aligned your whole party with a dairy cow factory that has already shown a profound disregard for the ground water of your constituents? (It is the same commercial interest that has caused wells in Juneau to reach 79 ppm for nitrates. (The EPA’s upper safe limit for ground water is 10 ppm.)
The value of our properties in the area has plummeted. Forcing the factory on us would make matters worse. Any business connected to entertainment, fine dining, golf, and other recreational activities will suffer, and together, they represent more tax monies than one CAFO. Imagine the deep anger and resentment that is building against the Republican Party in this community. Saratoga and the Central Sands are extremely vulnerable to pollution. The wells around here are mostly sand points, cased and down less than 30 feet.
How long will it take for 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25,000 TONS of solid manure a year to reach our groundwater? The pesticides needed for all these cows will have a tremendous impact on the groundwater, also.
Please realize that the residents are extremely upset with this CAFO and have repeated to anyone who will listen that NO, we do not want that CAFO here. If you go through with imposing this CAFO and its high capacity wells on us, I pray to God you get replaced before our wells go dry and the entire economy of the region craters.