October 29, 2008 New Factory Farm in Rosendale Threatens Significant Impact to the Environment

People Empowered Protect the Land (PEPL) of Rosendale and Midwest
Environmental Advocates Urge Further Environmental Scrutiny for
Rosendale Dairy

October 29, 2008

Contact: Jamie Saul, Staff Attorney, Midwest Environmental Advocates
(608) 251-5047 or [email protected]

ROSENDALE, WI – In written comments submitted to the Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Midwest Environmental Advocates
and concerned citizens of Ripon, Rosendale, and Pickett urged the DNR
to fulfill its legal obligations by preparing an Environmental Impact
Statement that analyzes the full impact of the proposed Rosendale
Dairy on the community’s land and water resources and air quality.

If approved, the new 8,000-head Rosendale Dairy will cause significant
and permanent impacts
to the environment, including the storage and land application of over
75 million gallons of
manure and wastewater per year – making the operation the third
largest “city” in Wisconsin in
terms of biological waste production. Additionally, DNR’s Air
Dispersion Analysis shows that the livestock operation will emit high
levels of toxic gasses such as ammonia.

“We who have the privilege of clean air, safe drinking water, and the
beauty of natural resources have an obligation to protect this
inheritance for future generations,” states Elaine Swanson, a Pickett
resident and member of People Empowered Protect the Land (PEPL) of

Living on a 50-acre wildlife sanctuary one mile from the Rosendale
Dairy site, Swanson has seen
changes the massive industrial complex has wrought on the landscape.
“The quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink is
jeopardized by this new factory farm. We urge the DNR to
resist the political pressures brought to bear on the agency by
agribusiness lobbyists and conduct
a meaningful and thorough environmental review.”

The DNR analysis failed to conduct a thorough review of the possible
cumulative impacts of the
operation and the various alternatives available to the DNR and the
dairy, both of which are
required by the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act.

“The DNR has taken several positive steps in this process, including
withholding plan approval
until the environmental review is complete and analyzing the potential
emissions of hazardous
air pollutants from the dairy,” says Jamie Saul, Staff Attorney with
Midwest Environmental
Advocates. “But the law requires a more extensive environmental review
than the DNR has provided. We hope the DNR will fully examine the
known and anticipated impacts that this facility will have on the
community’s environment and natural resources.”

DNR has faced considerable pressure from the proposed dairy’s
operators and the Dairy
Business Association, who have sought to fast-track the environmental
review and permitting
process and claim that DNR has been too thorough in its environmental
review. Rosendale Dairy has already begun construction on certain
facilities that may still require DNR approval.

The DNR will be preparing a wastewater discharge permit for Rosendale
Dairy in the near future, and the public is encouraged to participate
in that process by submitting written comments to the agency when the
draft permit is released. PEPL of Rosendale will request that the DNR
provide an informational hearing so that the public may voice their

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• The proposed Rosendale Dairy will be located on County Road M
northwest of Rosendale,

WI. According to public records, the operation will:

???? House 8,300 head of cattle, making the facility the largest
dairy in Wisconsin;

???? Generate over 75 million gallons of manure and other waste
per year, most of which will be stored in open lagoons before being
spread on local fields. Only the cities of Milwaukee and Madison
produce more biological waste.

???? Release more than three times the amount of toxic ammonia
gas than is allowed by state law and the Federal Clean Air Act;

???? Require nearly 20,000 truck loads of traffic per year to
bring in supplies and remove milk and manure (an average of 53 trucks
per day);

???? Draw nearly 90 million gallons of groundwater per year from
on-site wells.

• The Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act requires the DNR to prepare
an Environmental Assessment (and, when required, a more thorough
Environmental Impact Statement) for every agency action which may have
a “significant impact on the quality of the human environment.” That
review must include an examination of both short-term and long-term
environmental impacts, including secondary effects and the cumulative
effects of other nearby activities that would compound the impacts;
and an evaluation of the alternatives to the proposal, including
rigorous analysis of those alternatives that might avoid any of the
adverse environmental impacts.

• Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) is the first and only
non-profit environmental law
center in Wisconsin. MEA provides legal and technical support to
grassroots groups that are
working for environmental justice in the Western Great Lakes region.
For more information,
visit www.midwestadvocates.org or call (608) 251-5047.

• People Empowered Protect the Land (PEPL) of Rosendale is an
organization of concerned
citizens seeking to protect their local environment, property values,
and quality of life from the impacts of Rosendale Dairy and other
factory farms across the State. PEPL promotes
sustainable agricultural practices and supports a legislative
moratorium on large-scale industrial dairies that have the capacity to
cause lasting environmental harm.