DNR board set to adopt CAFO manure restrictions

DNR board set to adopt CAFO manure restrictions

The state Department of Natural Resources is set to adopt new restrictions on large farms’ manure spreading in hopes of protecting eastern Wisconsin groundwater.

The regulations have been in the works for two years largely in response to widespread drinking water contamination in Kewaunee County. The DNR’s initial version called for statewide restrictions but the dairy industry balked at the cost. The agency scaled the regulations back to 15 eastern counties with Silurian bedrock under their soil.

Under the regulations, farms with less than 2 feet of soil over the bedrock would be prohibited from applying any manure. Farms with 2 feet to 20 feet of topsoil would have to abide by gallon limitations dependent on soil depth.

The DNR’s board is set to vote on the regulations Wednesday.