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1/23/2018: Conservationists: Put Human Health Before Polluters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018
CONTACT: Ryan Billingham, Communications Director, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, 608-208-1129 (office), 608-213-6972 (mobile/text), or ryan@conservationvoters.org

Conservationists: Put Human Health Before Polluters
DNR Board to Vote on Improved Manure Pollution Rules Tomorrow

MADISON – With the Natural Resources Board set to vote tomorrow on improvements to manure pollution rules years in the making, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters called on them to put the health and safety of Wisconsin families first.

“Tomorrow marks an important step in the advancement of common sense rule changes to better ensure wells in sensitive areas aren’t poisoned by liquid manure,” Kerry Schumann, executive director, said. “The NRB has an opportunity to do the right thing for northeast Wisconsin families – approve the revised rules now.”

The changes to the NR 151 rules set stronger guidelines for manure spreading, particularly in Kewaunee County, where liquid manure pours down fissures and holes in the bedrock. The changes are the culmination of more than two years of work by a coalition including the DNR, citizens, farmers, and experts.

As the stronger rules advance, powerful pro-polluter groups like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Dairy Business Association have sought to weaken them. This, despite the fact that two-thirds of wells in Kewaunee County are unsafe for drinking and many families have to haul their water from Algoma High School.

The problem is real. Take a look at this video of Kewaunee County residents Rob and Erika Balza’s shower after rain to see how acute – and disgusting – it has become.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters urges the Natural Resources Board to reject politics and embrace public health tomorrow by approving the strengthened rules without modification. The rules will then head to the legislature and Gov. Walker for approval.

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Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin’s public health and natural resources. 

You can follow legislation impacting natural resources on our Conservation Vote Tracker, a real-time accountability tool that provides you with a complete picture of what conservation issues are in play and how legislators are performing: http://conservationvoters.org/vote-tracker/.