Public hearing on proposed manure storage ordinance scheduled
For the Star Journal
RHINELANDER – A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 5 in the Oneida County boardroom on a proposed ordinance to manage manure storage.
A press release from the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department states the ordinance is designed to control direct runoff from livestock feeding areas or manure management facilities into the waters of the county.
The proposal came from a septage spreading incident in 2019, which began the initial discussion about human waste and animal manure management in the county. The Conservation and UW-Extension Education (CUW) Committee then worked to establish safeguards which would prevent pollution of surface and ground water, protect the health of the people and communities and preserve the property tax base of the county.
After citizen input from the public hearing is reviewed, the proposal will be modified if needed and will be moved to the Oneida County Board for consideration at the Jan. 18 meeting.
According to the press release, if approved at county board the ordinance will establish road, well, property line, navigable water, and wetland setbacks for manure storage facilities and manure stacks, and will prohibit the following:
-The overflow of manure storage facilities
-Unconfined manure stacks in a water quality management area
-Direct runoff from a feedlot or stored manure into the waters of the State
-Unlimited access by livestock to waters of the State in a location where high concentrations of animals prevent the maintenance of adequate sod or self-sustaining vegetative cover.
Additionally, the ordinance will require a permit for any person who constructs, substantially alters, changes use of, or closes a manure storage facility and related transfer systems. However, no permits will be needed for:
-Temporary stacking of manure located outside of a water quality management area
-Covered temporary manure stacks
-Manure stacks less than 175 cu. ft.
For more information call the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department at 715-369-7835. To read the draft copy of the ordinance and for more information about the public hearing visit oclw.org/manure-storage.html.