The state Department of Natural Resources' board has given the agency permission to develop scaled-back rules on factory farm manure spreading.

The DNR completed scope statements calling for updating manure regulations in light of water contamination in Kewaunee County, the hazards of airborne spraying and other state and federal regulations.

Gov. Scott Walker's administration shared the statements with the dairy industry, which balked at the cost. The DNR redrafted the statements to note the regulations won't apply statewide but only in sensitive areas especially susceptible to contamination. They will not address spraying.

Citizens urged the board to adopt stricter regulations during a meeting Wednesday in Ashland, but the board ultimately approved the revised statements unanimously. Board members said the scope statements are only a first step toward regulating manure.

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