Wisconsin DNR Reforms
WISCONSIN DNR REFORMS
The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association supports concepts in the 2017-19 Wisconsin
Governor’s Budget and the Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR) recent strategic
reorganization to improve service to the dairy industry.
Dairy manufacturers and dairy farms hold stewardship of the land, water and air in their
communities as a paramount priority. Yet DNR permits for waste streams remain our members’
largest impediment to growth. We’re ready to bring transparency, expertise and communication
to bear on making the dairy and food industries partners with DNR on a clean environment.
- The new Governor’s Budget and DNR’s strategic reorganization offer these ideas for a better
partnership between industry and regulators, and a cleaner environment for all:
- The DNR Water Quality division gains four FTE positions in the Governor’s Budget to
address permits for large dairy farms. This will improve a backlog of permits.
- DNR and Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP) are directed
in the Governor’s Budget to study transferring the permitting of large farms –
concentrated animal feeding operations – to DATCP. It’s a logical step: The agency
already handles dairy farms inspections and services.
- The Governor’s Budget recommends the use of environmental improvement funds for
water quality activities in state areas with sensitive surface and groundwater issues.
- DNR’s reorganization includes a new approval program for qualified consultants and
contractors to allow highly qualified experts to submit information for new or renewing
wastewater permits. We expect faster, more transparent permits from this new process.