2006: Judy Treml
Judy Treml of Luxembourg,Wisconsin was nominated by Midwest Environmental Advocates for her work to protect drinking water. For several years, the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin was working to adopt tighter regulations for the largest animal operations to control the runoff of liquid manure from frozen or otherwise saturated soils. The Treml’s had a terrible experience in which one of these large operations contaminated their drinking water well (as well as a nearby stream) with liquid manure that had run off of adjacent fields. They and their small children, the youngest of which was six months old, became deathly ill.
With Midwest Environmental Advocates, the Treml’s successfully sued the large farm operation and recovered damages for their well and medical costs. Judy and her husband did not stop there. At great time and personal expense they became the strongest advocates for the regulations to ensure that no other parent need take their six-month-old to the emergency room. Judy became an incredibly effective spokesperson for reasonable manure regulations. She has testified at hearings, spoken to media, educated many neighbors and groups, and organized other mothers to advocate for the health of their families.