Just before noon today (Friday), the DNR announced it is approving a request by Rosendale Dairy to modify its wastewater permit, so that it can expand its herd to 8,000 cows and 300 steer.
This decision means the dairy, located on County Road M between Rosendale and Pickett, is free to become the largest dairy in the state of Wisconsin.
A press release issued by the DNR stated:
"Rosendale Dairy must meet the state’s most stringent water protections ever to expand its herd at their Fond du Lac County operation.
The Department of Natural Resources on Friday approved the dairy’s request to modify its water protection permit to allow it to expand to 8,000 cows and to increase to 12,000 acres the land manure is spread on. The modified permit contains the most restrictive conditions ever imposed on a farm in the 26-year history of DNR’s permit program for large farms.
“We’ve taken existing laws as far as they can go to assure that significant safeguards are in place to maximize protection for the environment,” says Gordon Stevenson, who leads the DNR’s runoff management section.
The permit imposes conditions over and above the requirements contained in permits issued to other large livestock operations, including:
- Extra limits on how much manure and commercial fertilizer can be spread on fields under different conditions;
- A greater distance between water wells and where manure can be spread; Rosendale must meet a 200 foot well “setback,” double the 100 foot setback laws require.
- Groundwater monitoring. Most permitted farms are not required to conduct groundwater monitoring; the few that do monitor quarterly. Rosendale has been required to monitor monthly. Under the permit modification, Rosendale will be allowed to revert to quarterly monitoring if none of their water samples exceed groundwater quality standards for 24 straight months.
- Greater scrutiny of their plan for managing how, when and where they apply manure and other nutrients.
- Additional monitoring of pipelines carrying liquid manure."
Read the full story on the Rosendale Dairy expansion in the Jan. 28, 2010 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.