In Support of Local Control Over Concentrated Animal Feeding Facilities’ Operations
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1 To the Honorable members of the Burnett County Board of Supervisors;
3 WHEREAS, the State of Wisconsin adopted ATCP 51, Livestock Facility Siting, in 2006;
4 and
6 WHEREAS, every four years, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and
7 Consumer Protection (DATCP) is required to appoint a technical expert committee to review
8 ATCP 51. In spite of the committee meeting in 2010, 2014, and 2018 and suggesting multiple
9 revisions to ATCP 51, the rule has remained unchanged since its adoption in 2006; and
11 WHEREAS, in 2019 DATCP proposed a number of rule revisions to ATCP 51, based on
12 recommendations by the technical expert committee and public comments made by
13 organizations and citizen stakeholders. These rule revisions were never adopted, and ATCP
14 51 remained unchanged since its adoption in 2006; and
16 WHEREAS, the only required permit for CAFOs in Wisconsin is issued and enforced by the
17 Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Legislature has failed to adequately fund and
18 empower the DNR for years and as a result, the agency has been unable to sufficiently
19 regulate CAFO’s wastewater discharges to protect water quality; and
21 WHEREAS, the non-partisan State of Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau reviewed the
22 DNR’s performance implementing the Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems
23 (WPDES) Program and found in Report 16-6, dated June 2016, that the DNR failed to
24 administer and maintain a WPDES permit program consistent with the requirements
25 established under the Clean Water Act and Chapter 283, Wis. Stats; and
27 WHEREAS, in May 2023, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) filed a
28 lawsuit in Calumet County Circuit Court on behalf of the Wisconsin Dairy Alliance and
29 Venture Dairy Cooperative challenging the DNR’s authority to regulate CAFOs. In January
30 2024, the Calumet County Judge, Carey Reed, ruled that the Wisconsin Department of
31 Natural Resources (DNR) has the authority to regulate CAFO’s wastewater discharge; and
33 WHEREAS, in March 2024, WMC appealed Justice Reed’s decision that upheld the DNR’s
34 authority to regulate CAFO’s wastewater discharges and is continuing to ask for the removal
35 of regulations for CAFOs; and
37 WHEREAS, permitted CAFOs in Wisconsin have greatly expanded since the adoption of
38 ATCP 51 in 2006. There were 135 permitted CAFOs in 2006 and there are 336 permitted
39 CAFOs in 2023, a 250% increase over 17 years. According to the Department of Natural
40 Resources an average of 15 new CAFO permits are issued each year; and
42 WHEREAS, human health and welfare may be impacted by the construction, operation and
43 expansion of CAFOs in the State of Wisconsin; and
1 WHEREAS, despite the multiple impacts CAFOs may cause in a community i.e., road
2 damage, biosecurity, air pollution, property values and emergency services, the DNR WPDES
3 permit only addresses wastewater discharges; and
5 WHEREAS, local units of government have the authority to draft and pass ordinances that
6 protect the public health and safety of residents, as well as protect the financial wellbeing of
7 the County; and
9 WHEREAS, Burnett County drafted and passed a CAFO Operations Ordinance to address
10 the negative impacts that may be associated with CAFOs in 2024.
12 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, local control is a foundational governing
13 concept in Wisconsin and is designed to place decision-making authority at the level of
14 government closest to the people impacted by those decisions; and
16 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, County Board Supervisors are elected by the residents of
17 the County and as such, are better equipped to draft and pass ordinances that reflect their
18 constituents’ values than their counterparts in Madison.
20 NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Burnett County Board of
21 Supervisors, assembled this 16th day of May, 2024, requests that the Wisconsin Counties
22 Association work to support efforts to protect Wisconsin County’s local control over the
23 operations of CAFOs.
25 Respectfully submitted by the Burnett County Natural Resources Committee.
Signed and dated this 9
th 26 day of May, 2024.