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County to update animal waste code

County to update animal waste code County to update animal waste code

The Marathon County Environmental Resources Committee on Thursday was introduced to proposed changes to the county’s animal waste management ordinance that will bring it in line with state performance standards. The code revisions include:

_ Outlawing stacked manure in a drainage area or water quality area.

_ Forbidding a cattle barnyard that loses 15 pounds of phosphorus each year in a non-water quality management area and five pounds in a water quality management area.

_ Requiring that farmers have sod on at least half of a stream bank where cattle have access.

_ Mandating that any new manure storage facility be located 50 feet away from a property line or road right of way.

County land and water program director Paul Daigle said the changes all are meant to either clarify the existing county ordinance or to make it consistent with state codes.

He told committee members the county cannot enforce any of the ordinance provisions without an offer of between 70 and 90 percent cost share.

The county has planned two public information meetings on the proposed animal waste ordinance. Both are set for Monday, Feb. 24.

_ Large conference room, 210 River Drive, Wausau, 1-6 p.m.

_ The Country Aire ballroom, 118500 CTH P, Stratford, 2-4 p.m.

In related discussion, committee members approved the general goals of a 2020-2030 county land and water plan.

The goals, which will be communicated to a citizens advisory committee, include reduction of soil erosion, improvement of soil health, protection of prime agricultural lands and forests, improvement of surface water quality, protection of groundwater and education of the public on environmental issues.

It is expected the committee will, following the spring election, debate a draft land and water plan in May with adoption by the county board later in the fall.