September 18, 2009
Take a look at a new New York Times video, “The Danger of Livestock Waste,” produced by Brent McDonald. The many manure lagoons and field spraying in the state have led to the contamination of Idaho aquifers and private wells, causing high levels of nitrates, which have forced some families to buy bottled water. Another article, by reporter Charles Duhigg, in yesterday’s NYT “Toxic Waters” series, “Health Ills Abound as Farm Runoff Fouls Wells,” looks at the problems caused by a 41,000 dairy cow operation in Brown County, Wisconsin. Duhigg points out that more than 100 wells there have been polluted by agricultural runoff in recent months, causing residents to suffer from chronic diarrhea, stomach illnesses and sever ear infections. The story is the latest to focus national attention to the human health issues caused by unregulated agricultural runoff. There’s also an excellent slide show accompanying the piece.