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DNR to host hearing on Rock Prairie Dairy

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ANN MARIE AMES
May 7, 2011
— The public will have one last chance Monday to speak to officials about a 5,200-cow dairy operation under construction east of Janesville.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a public hearing at 4 p.m. Monday at the Craig Center at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville.


The hearing is part of the approval process for a wastewater discharge permit, which essentially is the state’s operating permit for large livestock operations.


Dairy farmer Todd Tuls of Columbus, Neb., already has applied for and gotten construction permits and other necessary permits from the state, Rock County and the town of Bradford.


Earth movers have been working for several weeks in what was formerly a cornfield on the northeast corner of the intersection of Highway 14 and Scharine Road in Bradford Township about two miles west of the Walworth County line.


Tuls plans to be milking cows by the end of the year. He has contracts with local crop producers to apply the cows’ waste to farm fields.


Many local residents have opposed the project and are concerned that the facility poses a health risk to humans. The large amount of waste produced could threaten nearby Turtle Creek or groundwater. Heavy truck traffic could be dangerous for travelers and could damage town roads, opponents have said.


Some dairy experts have said the business will strengthen the local dairy infrastructure and support the state’s strong cheese production industry.


Find the DNR’s documents about the farm at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/es/


science/eis/eis.htm.


Review the Gazette’s coverage of the project and Tuls’ Nebraska facilities at gazettextra.com/dairy.



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