|'Massive' Manure Spill Reported At Emerald Sky Dairy|
|State & Local|
|Written by Emerald Clean Water For All, Kim Dupre|
|Tuesday, 11 April 2017 10:56|
A neighbor of Emerald Sky Dairy and member of Emerald Clean Water For All reports a spill of “tens of thousands of gallons of manure water”. 90 families who live within two miles of the dairy and area residents are encouraging their neighbors to get their wells tested.
EMERALD, WI - Clean up from a “massive” manure spill is still going on one week after an anonymous tip lead County and DNR staff to Emerald Sky Dairy in Emerald, WI.
The tip indicated there had been a spill of “tens of thousands of gallons of manure water” that had not been reported to DNR officials as required by the dairy's permits with State and local entities. No time line was given as to when this occurred.
County staff investigated and found tens of thousands of gallons of both liquid and solid manure in the storm water pond and adjacent wetland at Emerald Sky Dairy. According to staff at Emerald Sky Dairy, this occurred in December 2016, but wasn't reported to the DNR until 3/29/17 upon encouragement by St. Croix County staff. A check valve had burst, causing the spill, but has since been repaired with no immediate concern of further contamination.
“This is a prime example of the State's flawed 'self-reporting' regulation of industrial farms,” said Kim Dupre, a neighbor of Emerald Sky Dairy and member of Emerald Clean Water For All. “Since no one was notified of this massive spill, neighbors could not take precautions for their drinking water in this aftermath – government entities could not respond timely. Depending on their location and weather conditions, these types of spills may result in residential well contamination and local stream fish kills. This industrial dairy is in the watershed for the Willow River, Kinnickinnic River and St. Croix River.”
Ninety families live within two miles of Emerald Sky Dairy and area residents are encouraging their neighbors to get their wells tested since this spill occurred nearly 4 months ago and ground water may have been affected.
A full report by the DNR is being assembled and will be available for public review once complete. This incident will then be forwarded for evaluation to DNR enforcement staff.
St. Croix County's Board of Supervisors had convened a Ground and Surface Water Quality study committee in January 2017, prompted by the application of Emerald Sky Dairy for a conditional use permit to expand the number of cows from 1,700 to over 6,000. “I would wonder if the management of this dairy cannot follow regulations or protect our drinking water with the 1,700 cows they have now....how could they manage a herd of over 6,000?! I would hope this incident will be thoroughly reviewed by the Ground and Surface Water Quality study group and St. Croix County's Board of Supervisors,” stated Kim Dupre.
More info will be available once the DNR final report is complete.