Updates on Wisconsin Water Issues, January 2019

Jan 24, 2019 | Citizen Advocacy, Water Policy | 1 comment

A lot has happened for Wisconsin’s waters so far in 2019. Here’s a quick recap of legal proceedings that will have significant impacts on Wisconsin’s rivers, lakes and waterways.


A Win! 

Midwest Environmental Advocates and the groups they represented (Clean Water Action Council, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Friends of the Central Sands and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation) received a ruling that an agreement between WI DNR and the Dairy Business Association (DBA) violated state law. Read more

New Water Case Filed

A total of 81 plaintiffs, all of whom own property in Juneau County, have filed a lawsuit against Wysocki Produce Farms and Central Sands Dairy. The plaintiffs claim Wysocki Produce Farms and Central Sands Dairy have knowingly contaminated groundwater and private well systems, endangering neighbors for at least a decade. Read more

Two Cases for the WI Supreme Court

Clean Wisconsin and partners recently brought two cases on water management. This month the 2nd District Court of Appeals did not make a decision, but instead asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to handle both cases. We’ll now watch to see if the WI Supreme Court will take the cases. “Both of these cases require the court to decide whether water will be protected for public benefit, or instead overused or polluted for the private gain of a handful of corporate farms. The stakes for our water and for all Wisconsinites could not be higher,” said Evan Feinauer, Staff Attorney for Clean Wisconsin. Read more
  • The first case is important to the lakes and rivers in the Central Sands area of Wisconsin. This case is about the DNR considering cumulative impacts of existing high capacity wells when reviewing new high capacity well applications.
  • The second case going to the WI Supreme Court involves legislation that limited the WI Department of Natural Resources’ authority to limit Kinnard Farm’s herd size or require the farm to monitor groundwater as part of state permitting.

Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin Appeal

The Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin appealed a December 2018 decision (from the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin) that dismissed the Tribe’s claims against the federal government. The Tribe’s initial claim was that the State of Michigan should not have controlled what should have been a federal permitting process for Aquila Resources’ Back Forty Mine proposal. Read more
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