Resolution of the Bayfield County Lakes Forum (BCLF)
Preventing and managing the public health risks of a swine concentrated animal feeding organization
Resolution of Support for Bayfield County in Protecting County Citizens from the detrimental effects of the Proposed Swine Concentrated Animal Feeding Organization(CAFO) including pollution of lakes, rivers streams and groundwater, air and public health and urging action.
WHEREAS: The Bayfield County Lakes Forum (BCLF) is a citizen-volunteer conservation organization that represents twenty-two lake associations and one lake district in our county. The Forum also represents over 3,000 waterfront owners and speaks for all of our county’s 962 lakes and many miles of streams
WHEREAS; A large swine Concentrated Animal Feeding Organization (CAFO) with 23,000 pigs producing 6.8 million gallons of manure annually has been proposed in Bayfield County at a location near streams that drain into Lake Superior.
WHEREAS: The proposed swine confined breeding facility in Bayfield County will be a threat to our ground water, streams, rivers and lakes.
WHEREAS: Large confined swine facilities such as the one planned for Bayfield County have had serious impacts on public health, including spread of infections by influenza and drug-resistant bacteria and diseases associated with toxic algal blooms, air containing ammonia & hydrogen sulfide and nitrate-laden drinking water (blue baby syndrome).
WHEREAS: BCLF supports conservation-oriented policies and ordinances designed to protect surface and ground waters and the public health such as those recently enacted by Bayfield County: Its comprehensive CAFO Operations Ordinance, an ordinance banning spraying of untreated liquid manure on croplands, and a South Fish Creek Watershed Animal Waste Storage & Management ordinance and its Human Health Hazards Ordinance.
WHEREAS: The Bayfield County Large Scale Livestock Study Committee produced an excellent comprehensive report that included a recommendation to “Implement a public health ordinance to require largescale swine and poultry operations to develop and implement a plan to monitor and contain influenza and other viral disease outbreaks.”
WHEREAS: It is the duty of our political leaders to assure that our county waters will be conserved for future generations.
WHEREAS: The Wisconsin’s Constitution’s Public Trust Doctrine declares the waters of Wisconsin belong equally to all our citizens.
WHEREAS: Recent legislative changes in rules protecting our lakes and streams demonstrate that the state legislature and our governor are not abiding by the Wisconsin Public Trust Doctrine.
WHEREAS: BCLF is not opposed to agricultural businesses that are designed and managed in a way that does not harm our waters and pose no risk to health. But logic dictates that there is a reasonable limit to the number of animals that can reside on a farm.
WHEREAS: Many smaller farms, properly equipped and willing to meet reasonable agricultural regulations, could meet the needs of the industry for poultry, pork, and beef. This option would also provide more jobs than one large-scale CAFO.
WHEREAS: No matter how well planned and constructed, CAFOs present a risk to public health. They also place the future of our tourism-based economy, and our lakes, streams, and ground water at risk for the short-term benefit of a few.
WHEREAS: Our Native brothers and sisters speak of protecting Nature not for themselves or their children, but for seven generations. Our political leaders now have an opportunity to emulate this worthy policy by taking a stand for the generations to come by appropriately regulating CAFOs in Bayfield County.
WHEREAS: Sacrificing our water quality and public health today for the short-term gain of a few is antithetical to long-term agricultural, health and economic policies of the county aimed at protecting and benefitting all citizens.
WHEREAS: Clean, safe surface waters and groundwater are key to Bayfield County’s tourism-based economy and public health.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that
BCLF commends Bayfield County for its excellent comprehensive 2015 report of the Bayfield County Large Scale Livestock Study committee and we support adoption of its recommendations.
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that BCLF commends Bayfield County for passing a comprehensive CAFO Operations Ordinance, an ordinance banning spraying of untreated liquid manure on croplands, a South Fish Creek Watershed Animal Waste Storage & Management ordinance and a Human Health Hazard Ordinance which will reduce the risk of polluting ground and surface water and facilitate the recognition and management of viral and bacterial infectious outbreaks in citizens should they originate from swine CAFOs.
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that BCLF supports continued strong efforts by the county to enact and defend appropriate ordinances that protect county citizens from the harmful effects of CAFOs and may be more stringent than provided in state statutes and regulations.
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that BCLF stresses the need to develop further ordinances and regulations that require that CAFOs have facilities, equipment and procedures that prevent the threat of exposing CAFO workers, their families, health care workers and the public from illnesses due to CAFO-related toxic chemicals and infectious viruses, bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms.
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that BCLF encourages the enactment of a comprehensive public health ordinance as recommended by its Large Scale Livestock Study Committee: “a public health ordinance to require large‐scale swine and poultry operations to develop and implement a plan to monitor and contain in-fluenza and other viral disease outbreaks” and develop surveillance, reporting and emergency response plans.
Unanimously approved by voice vote
Saturday, October 7, 2107