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Letter: 'City Beautiful' could be city smelly

To the Editor:

In response to the article that ran in the Jan. 8, 2009 New Richmond News "Large Dairy Operation Could Come to Town of Erin Prairie." We oppose the operation because it will affect the health of neighbors like ourselves, but in a greater part because of what it can do to our community now and in future generations.

According to the "Farm Sanctuary Organization" traditional small dairies in the midwest are going out of business and being replaced by intensive feedlot dairies. The obvious health risks to the community are enormous. The livestock factory farms are the single largest contributor of ammonia gas release in the U.S. They also emit hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds and fine dust particles - all of which are linked to respiratory illness and contribute to an alarming list of symptoms in people who live near factory farms. According to the American Public Health Association and the National Academy of Sciences, air pollution from factory farms afflicts the health of rural communities across the nation. The potential for ground water contamination from manure lagoons and nitrates is also an alarming potential hazard. The amount of water needed to run a 3,800 animal facility is staggering, all of St. Croix County uses the same aquifer. This should be a concern for all county residents.

The School District of New Richmond just built two schools that cost in excess of 90 million dollars within five miles of the proposed site. The school building was passed in large part because of the projected future growth of New Richmond. In a recent article in the Hudson Star Observer, St. Croix County will be the fastest growing county between years 2000 - 2035. The City of New Richmond was projected to grow 116.2 percent in the next 25-35 years. The Town of Richmond 247 percent. Many subdivisions will develop and grow near the new schools. Would anyone looking to move to New Richmond or the surrounding townships want to be located so near a factory feedlot? The health and environmental concerns associated with these operations are too dangerous to live near. Hopefully the Schottler family will reconsider their proposal. The residents of St. Croix County, more specifically the New Richmond area residents should educate themselves on the prospect of a factory feedlot in their neighborhood. Then once named "City Beautiful" could be called "City Smelly."

Mr. & Mrs. Steve Graham

New Richmond