MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Department of Natural Resources has approved a permit for a new factory farm in southwestern Wisconsin, a region known for its rolling hills and clear trout streams.
Howard “AV” Roth plans to construct a second hog farm, this one capable of producing up to 140,000 piglets a year. The farm in Crawford County will also have about 5,100 female pigs and about 50 boars. The piglets will be shipped to other farms to be raised.
The DNR's approval comes without any requirements for monitoring water quality or limits on the number of animals.
Area residents are concerned that liquid manure could be over-applied to fields as fertilizer and potentially sink down into the groundwater, or run off of the soil and into streams and rivers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Many of the residents in Crawford County have private wells that pull water from the ground.
“We were certainly disappointed to see the notice of final determination and the final permits that didn’t include any substantive changes based on the 1,200 comments that were submitted,” Crawford Stewardship Project coordinator Forest Jahnke said. “It seems like we’re in this position where they’re ignoring precautionary principle, and it’s up to citizens to prove that this will contaminate the water.”
According to the documents, the DNR believes that as long as the farm follows the nutrient management plans, there will be no issues for water. Roth has said his operation will be a good steward of the land.
He already owns another hog concentrated animal feeding operation in Crawford County.