From: David White
I moved my family to Winona over 55 years ago, being attracted to the area by its natural beauty and opportunity for outdoor recreation. Preserving this environment is important to me and protecting the natural water systems both surface and ground water is part of that. Mega farms such as the one being proposed by the Daleys present an unacceptable risk to our surface and groundwater. The risk is especially acute in Southeast Minnesota because of the karst geology, typified by sinkholes and fissures in the limestone bedrock, which allows rapid transport of surface water to the aquifer that rural towns and residences with private wells rely on for drinking water. Many private wells are already above the 10 mg/L level of nitrate nitrogen that was established in 1962 by the Minnesota Department of Health as a maximum for drinking water. Recent studies have shown that a much lower safe limit should be established, and recognized that nitrogen is only an indicator that is easily tested for. Other dangerous pollutions such as coliform bacteria may also be present.
The Daleys are proposing to expand their dairy herd from 1,700 animals (2193 AUs) to 4,628 animals (5968 AUs), an increase of 2.7 times. Because they were grandfathered in, Daley Farms already exceeds the Winona County maximum of 1500 AUs. So, if this expansion is allowed, they would exceed the Winona County maximum by almost four times!
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is supposed to require an environmental impact statement (EIS) whenever a proposed project presents “a significant environmental risk.” This project certainly does, and they have failed to require it, putting the health and welfare of local citizens at risk! We pay their salaries with our taxes. Their job is to protect us. We should be getting more consideration than this from them.
If you are concerned, let them know! Write letters to the editor. Your views are important.