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Kewaunee — Governor Scott Walker announced he has requested the Public Service Commission (PSC), Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to coordinate resources and draft a Request for Proposal that aligns digester technology to all sizes of dairy farms in environmentally sensitive areas of Wisconsin.

The goal of this effort is to alleviate water quality concerns in these areas. Governor Walker made the announcement at the Heritage Farm Site in Kewaunee today to address nutrient management and water quality challenges in Kewaunee County.

“Water quality is a top priority for us,” Governor Walker said. “This joint effort is important progress, and we will continue working toward a sustainable solution to ensure our natural resources remain viable for generations to come.”

The state is already addressing recommendations made by the Kewaunee Groundwater Collaboration Workgroup and this joint initiative will be a key step in the effort to make sure Wisconsin’s water resources are safe and healthy for the citizens of the state.

Anaerobic digesters are an innovative approach to addressing groundwater quality issues. When properly scaled and applied, digesters can reduce agricultural runoff and groundwater issues, spur economic development in rural communities, and create a renewable source of energy production in the form of biogas.

The PSC, DATCP, and DNR will work together to make recommendations by December 1, 2016 that propose a tangible private sector response linking the application of digester technology to environmentally-sensitive areas of Wisconsin, specifically areas with high concentrations of dairy cattle. A Request for Proposal laying the groundwork for actionable items should be ready to release publicly in January.

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