Short term – Our Most Recent Advocacy Achievements

In the most recent legislative session, the WCA worked together with our friends across agriculture and with agriculture-friendly legislators and government leaders, can achieve things that a single farmer could never hope to achieve alone. That is part of the mission of the WCA – “promote the Wisconsin beef business through advocacy, leadership, and education.” 

Breaking News: Secretary Brancel will be retiring effective August 13th.


NR 151 – DNR Releases Proposed Targeted Nonpoint Source Pollution Performance Standards for Spreading Manure over Certain Karst Areas

DNR released the hearing draft of the proposed changes to NR 151 rule last week: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/documents/rules/WT1516DraftRule.pdf.  The proposed draft establishes an area for implementation of a new targeted performance standard for the application of manure over “Silurian bedrock,” which is found in the northeast and eastern part of the state.  The rule establishes performance standards for areas with 20 feet or less of soils over Silurian bedrock but defers development of the methodology that will be used to verify soil depth to the DATCP corresponding rule – ATCP 50, which will have to be developed if this revision to NR 151 is adopted.

Reaction to this proposed draft rule from the environmental groups has been guardedly favorable.  See links below:

·      Midwest Environmental Advocates press release (7/10/17): http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/0710mea.pdf

·      Wisconsin Public Radio: https://www.wpr.org/dnr-manure-plan-eastern-counties-gains-early-guarded-support

Although hearings have not yet been publicly noticed, they are expected to take place in early September.

ATCP 51 – Revisions to Livestock Siting Rule (2017)

At their July 20 meeting, the DATCP Board will review proposed revisions to ATCP 51 and decide whether the draft of the rule should go out for public hearings and comment. The revised Livestock Facility Siting Rule revises several aspects of the siting rule including incorporating revised ATCP 50 (the new “590”), creating new setbacks from property lines and roads, and creating a new system for evaluating odor from livestock structures. If approved by the DATCP Board, public hearings on the revised rule will be scheduled.

Proposed hearing draft – ATCP 51: https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/07202017.10.ATCP51HearingDraft.pdf

High Capacity Well Legislation Enacted – 2017 WI Act 10

On June 2, 2017, Governor Walker signed legislation creating a framework for the treatment of EXISTING high capacity wells that will no additional DNR review or approval to repair, replace, reconstruct or transfer ownership of an existing high capacity well.  In addition, the legislation requires the DNR to study the hydrology of three lakes in the central sands area of Wisconsin.

·         Link to 2017 Wisconsin Act 10: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/related/acts/10.pdf

·         Link to 2017 Wisconsin Act 10 – Memo: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/related/lcactmemo/act010.pdf  

DNR Creates a Drinking Water and Groundwater Study Group

The DNR has created a new study group to look at issues related to “Drinking Water and Groundwater” issues.  The first meeting is July 12, 2017.  Although there are no agricultural representatives on this group, we will be monitoring their activity for issues of interest and concern. Link to agenda and materials: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/DrinkingWater/Studygroup.html