Target: Mark McDermid, Bureau Director of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Goal: Protect Wisconsin’s rivers by controlling the amount of runoff pollution from nearby cattle operations.
Steroid hormones from Wisconsin’s livestock have been contaminating rivers near the state’s large cattle operations. As the Midwestern snow has melted, a dangerous amount of hormone-disruptive chemicals has been found in Wisconsin’s fresh water sources. Polluted waters like these tend to feminize 80 to 100 percent of male fish, resulting in the production of immature eggs in their testes. Protect Wisconsin’s rivers by controlling the level of runoff pollution from cattle operations.
According to a recent United Nations report, endocrine disruptors are a global threat to wildlife and humans. Nearly 800 chemicals, including soaps, plastics, industrial solvents, herbicides, pesticides, and medicines, disrupt hormone function. Thousands of chemicals haven’t been tested, and most aren’t even regulated.
The state of Wisconsin has never looked into endocrine disruptors. Research and regulation of them is very poorly coordinated and funded. In a Madison Cap Times interview, chief of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recycling and solid waste program, Brad Wolbert, defended himself by saying, “We’re not a building full of bureaucrats ignorant to the problem. It’s just that it’s a really big problem.”
Endocrine disruptors not only affect fish populations, but they also negatively affect human health. They alter the body’s signaling systems, which regulate growth, stress response, development, and metabolism. High levels of exposure to endocrine disruptors have also been linked to diabetes and cancer.
Like all states, Wisconsin depends on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to guide them about safeguarding fresh waterways. However, the EPA has yet to provide such guidance. Sign the below petition to urge the EPA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to remedy the runoff pollution problem in Wisconsin’s rivers.
Dear Mr. McDermid,
I am urging you to work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to find a solution to the runoff pollution from Wisconsin’s large cattle operations. As you know, hormone-disrupting chemicals are on the rise in your state’s freshwater sources. These types of chemicals cause fish populations to become extinct and negatively impact human health.
Both state and federal governments have failed to act upon the risks and effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals in Wisconsin. We need your help to ensure that the government does not fail the public any longer. Work with the EPA to find solutions instead of excuses, and save your state’s fresh water from being contaminated indefinitely.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Matt Wasson via Flickr