By Tim Kowols
The State of Wisconsin Natural Resources Board unanimously approved changes to the state’s manure handling rules in sensitive areas Wednesday in an effort to address groundwater contamination concerns. Over 20 members of the public spoke in favor of the changes, including Jodi Parins, Lynn Utesch, Dick Swanson and Don Niles of Kewaunee County and Bill Schuster of Door County. The new NR-151 rules for areas of shallow soils and fractured bedrock will limit where and when manure can be spread. Kewaunee County Board Member Lee Luft says it was important to see large farmers like Niles and conservationists like Utesch agree on an issue in the public’s eye.
Luft acknowledges there is still a lot of work to do to address Kewaunee’s groundwater concerns and changes could still occur to the rules on its way to Governor Scott Walker’s desk for his signature. However, he is still hopeful the 7-0 vote by the Natural Resources Board speaks volumes when it approaches the Wisconsin Legislature in the near future.