The public comment period on new manure management rules is officially open, and the public has the opportunity to help strengthen them.

Wisconsin is facing a drinking water crisis. A recent study showed 18 percent of all wells in the state are contaminated with bacteria that indicates the presence of disease-causing organisms.

In July, the Department of Natural Resources released new rules designed to protect families, groundwater, and lakes and rivers from manure pollution.

The proposed changes to Administrative Rule NR 151 begin to address excessive pollution from factory farms in limited ways, including the rate at which manure can be applied on vulnerable areas and creating larger manure application boundaries around private wells and contamination points, like sinkholes and fissures

The public comment period will close Oct. 4. Email DNRAdministrativeRules@Wisconsin.gov to urge state officials to protect Wisconsin families, drinking water, and lakes and rivers.

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Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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