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Dear Editor,

In regard to the article about the CAFO ordinances in the September 18, 2019 Inter County Leader, the paper made it sound as if a layer of clay will protect the aquifer. This is not the case- there are pockets of clay and a mix of different types of glacial till in the township of Trade Lake. The ground water will take the path of least resistance flowing down the slope until it comes to a point of infiltration into the aquifer. Water being the universal solvent, it will carry with it nitrates, bacteria, pathogens, antibiotics and anything else that the hog CAFO would have spread on the land. No analysis has been done of the over 2,000 acres of land that is intended to be the recipient of eight million gallons of hog manure.

For a reference to see the effects of similar hog operations in Iowa, see: https://www.iowapolicyproject.org/2018docs/180125-cafo.pdf.

The surface water above a clay pocket can flow down a slope and enter into the local wetlands, lakes and rivers, promoting algae growth and a host of other water problems leaving water that is no longer swimmable or fishable. Clay will not stop millions of gallons of hog manure from getting into our water. The best way to keep our water clean is to not have a hog CAFO anywhere in Burnett or Polk County.

The Inter County Leader stated that Cumberland LLC has purchased 37 acres from Jim Melin. Cumberland LLC has only made an offer to purchase land from Melin, provided Melin meets all the contingencies in the offer. The sale is still pending.

Finally, the conclusion of the September 18, 2019 article ambiguously acknowledges that a representative of Burnett Dairy threatened the paper. Mr. King of the Leader should disclose to the people of Burnett and Polk County precisely who made the threat and specifically what was said. It is a matter of public interest and concern if one of the biggest businesses in the area is attempting to suppress the free expression of ideas in our local paper.

Howard Pahl,

Trade Lake Water Committee member