Sides square off as DNR holds public hearing on dairy digester

Arthur Rathjen, right, president of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Foundation, explains the biodigester project while Rosendale Dairy partner Jim Ostrom watches.

Opponents of a plan to place a biodigester at Rosendale Dairy were few in number but passionate during a public hearing last week Wednesday.

Just two neighbors spoke during an official public hearing by the DNR on a construction permit requested by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Foundation that would enable it to build the biodigester at Rosendale Dairy.

Comments received during the hearing will be used as the DNR decides whether to OK construction of the biodigester. A preliminary approval has been made so far for the project.

A separate permit will need approval later for operation of that biodigester.

Following the hearing, representatives of the project responded, hoping to alleviate concerns the neighbors had.

At issue is whether the foundation should be allowed to construct a machine that would capture gases from cattle manure at Rosendale Dairy and turn it into electricity.

If approved, the biodigester is expected to create 1.5 megawatts — enough to power about 1,500 homes.

Read the full story in the May 23, 2013 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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