Fines could be on the way for several farmers in Kewaunee County thanks to a new ordinance passed earlier this year. A dozen manure spills have been reported to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources since August. It was an even split between farms classified as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and non-CAFOs with causes including faulty equipment, human error, and saturating rains. Kewaunee County’s Chapter 39 ordinance gives the Land and Water Conservation Department jurisdiction to respond to manure spill calls at non-CAFO farms and operations where the DNR has not responded to investigate and even fine violators. Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee member Lee Luft says the ordinance virtually mirrors what was passed on the state level.
The Chapter 39 ordinance was approved by the Kewaunee County Board in August after the state approved stricter NR-151 rules limiting farmers where and when they could spread manure on their fields.