September 4, 2013: The Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining and Revenue will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 278. This bill would limit public access to managed forest land that is located in a proposed mining site. The bill exempts from the requirement that recreational activities be allowed on managed forest land that is designated as open if the MFL is within a site for which a mining company has notified DNR that it intends to file an application for an iron mining permit. Instead, under the bill, the mining company and DNR may enter into an agreement to allow any or all of the recreational activities on all or part of the MFL during the entire year or during certain times of the year. However, the owner must make the closed acreage payment for each acre that is located within the proposed mining site and that is closed to any of the recreational activities during any time during the previous calendar year. The executive session for this bill is scheduled for September 5.
September 5, 2013: The DNR will hold a public informational hearing on the proposed WPDES permit reissuance and nutrient management plan for Ebert Dairy Enterprises. Ebert Dairy has expanded its operations through the purchase of a former CAFO facility. Ebert Enterprises currently has approximately 4,452 animal units and is proposing to expand to 8,642 animal units by 2017. Proposed changes at the Main Dairy include two additional freestall barns, three calf/heifer barns, modifications/relocations of the sand separation system and an addition to the feed storage area.
September 6 and 7, 2013: The DNR will hold a public meeting on the implementation of the Rock River TMDL. September 6th will cover information for municipal staff, elected officials, industry, conservation and farm organization representatives. The agenda includes: results of the TMDL report, permit limits and implications for municipalities and industries in the watersheds, MS4 stormwater permit implications and case studies of groups working together to improve water quality. The September 7th meeting will cover information for the public interested in water quality and learning more about the Rock River recovery efforts. The agenda for September 7th includes: what are the major issues and causes of water quality issues, what is being done and what more needs to be done. In the afternoon, there is an opportunity to take a Rock Lake pontoon boat tour to learn about monitoring lake water quality, visit farms that are taking steps to protect water quality, visit the Johnson Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant or visit to locations with rain barrels, rain gardens and shoreline restorations.