The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is weighing options to move ahead with the construction of a large dairy farm in Wood County in central Wisconsin.
The proposal calls for housing more than 5,000 cows.
The decision for the farm would have environmental impacts, including groundwater. Residents near the town are concerned about the impact of irrigation and manure spreading, because they rely on private wells for drinking water.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
The DNR’s environmental impact statement on the Golden Sands Dairy — and the decision that would follow — is being closely watched because of the scale of the project and the vulnerability the sandy soil in the region could pose on groundwater.
And it comes as the DNR last Wednesday said it plans to streamline some regulatory functions, including permitting of large farms. Conservationists say they will be monitoring the changes to ensure environmental standards won’t be weakened.
Also on Wednesday, in Wood County in the Town of Saratoga where Golden Sands would operate, the town board approved regulations giving it new inspection authority and other powers for livestock and manure storage practices aimed at large farms.
For more on this story, visit Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.