Does the aerosol spraying of untreated liquefied cow manure into the atmosphere near 20,000 residents sound like a good idea to you? Well, that’s what the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has in mind for Kewaunee County. Their proposed “study” on the human health risks of liquefied manure by spraying on a portion of Ebert Enterprises’ mega-dairy is nothing less than a prelude to putting local citizens in danger of toxic waste exposure and the possibility of long-term catastrophic health issues.
The Ebert mega-dairy recently received approval to expand their operation to approximately 8,000 cows that will produce manure equivalent to a city of 144,000 humans yearly. That’s more than Green Bay, Wis. And how do they propose getting rid of all that filthy waste? With the WDNR’s blessing, Ebert would spray that untreated liquefied cow manure — into the air! Yes, that’s the plan. Particulate matter, methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide all catching a breeze and landing in the living spaces and lungs of Kewaunee County residents.
They’re kidding, right? No, they’re dead serious.
Airborne microorganisms, biological pathogens and ammonia from mega-dairies are known health risks to their workers and nearby communities. The threats of such risky business include contributing factors to heart attack, stroke and asthma. Many local residents have refused in writing to give informed consent to conduct this experiment near their homes and businesses. The question is: Is anybody listening?
An even larger question is: Why isn’t Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services participating in this reckless undertaking?
Assistant Regional Associate for the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project
From the Feb. 26-March 4, 2014 issue