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Speak out on proposed changes to livestock siting rule

Monday, July 22, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Holevoet, director of government affairs
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The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is moving forward with a series of public hearings on changes to the livestock siting rule, ATCP 51. This rule is very important to the dairy community as it dictates how local governments can regulate new or expanding livestock farms and establishes statewide standards.

DBA has identified three significant problems with the current proposal:

  • It does away with the odor scoring system in favor of radically increased setbacks that make farms “earn back” part of the setbacks through odor mitigation strategies and/or seek a variance from local jurisdiction.
  • It incorporates by reference a new NRCS standard for vegetated treatment areas (VTAs), which would undermine the use of VTAs by some farmers, even if they would help with water quality.
  • It expands the power of local governments to cause problems for farms during the permitting process and as they monitor for compliance.


DBA has been working against the proposed rule change for several years. More information on the rule revision process can be found here. Prior to the most recent DATCP Board meeting, DBA and eight other agricultural groups sent this letter, voicing our concerns with the draft and asking them to not authorize public hearings on the proposed rule. Unfortunately, the board did move the rule forward.

It is important that DATCP hear from farmers about the proposed rule changes. There will be eight public hearings at four different locations. Here are details:

Oshkosh
Thursday, August 15
1 pm – 4 pm & 5 pm – 8 pm
James P. Coughlin Center
625 E. County Road Y
Conference rooms A & B

Eau Claire

Monday, August 19
1 pm – 4 pm & 5 pm – 8 pm
Chippewa Valley Technical College
620 W. Clairemont Avenue
Business Education Center, Room 103A

Wausau

Tuesday, August 20
1 pm – 4 pm & 5 pm – 8 pm
Entrepreneurial & Education Center
100 N. 72nd Avenue

Madison

Thursday, August 22
1 pm – 4 pm & 5 pm – 8 pm
State Agriculture Building
2811 Agriculture Drive, Rm 106

Onalaska
Wednesday, Sept. 4
Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center
3060 S. Kinney Coulee Road, Thomas G. Rowe Room

Spooner
Thursday, Sept. 5
NR Service Center
810 W. Maple St., Community Room 112


Please make it to one of these hearings to voice your opposition to the proposed rule. Speakers will likely be limited to only 2-3 minutes each, so you will have to keep your comments brief. DBA staff will be present at each hearing to help you register to speak.

If you cannot attend one of these hearings DATCP will be accepting written comments until Friday, September 13. You can submit your comments by emailing them to livestocksitingcomments@wisconsin.gov or mailing them to DATCP-ARM, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708.

After the public hearing process concludes, DATCP staff will likely revise the draft based, in part, on the public comments they receive. The DATCP board will then decide whether to move the draft rule forward where it must pass legislative scrutiny before it becomes a formal rule.

If you have questions or would like assistance preparing your public comments, please reach out to DBA staff. We strongly encourage you to participate in this process; the future of Wisconsin’s dairy community depends on it.

Thank you,

John Holevoet
Director of government affairs
jholevoet@dairyforward.com


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