DNR Revises High Capacity Well Review Process In Response To Action by Attorney General Kaul | Wis.Community

DNR Revises High Capacity Well Review Process In Response To Action by Attorney General Kaul

Lake Beulah
Lake Beulah

The Wisconsin DNR today announced that they will change their rules for considering the effects of high-capacity wells. The administrative rules on high-capacity wells have been a sore point for years in Wisconsin. The focal point of this has been the high-cap well that is near Lake Beulah in Walworth County. This well was the subject of litigation that was drawn out over many years. 

After Attorney-General Brad Schimel's opinion in 2016, the state DNR changed the way that it approved wells. Schimel's opinion ruled that the DNR , and that the DNR could not consider the cumulative effect of wells in an area, but must consider the effect of each well individually, even if the cumulative effect of the wells was environmentally damaging. 

In 2017, that the DNR must take the cumulative effect of wells into consideration. 

Today's letter from Attorney-General Josh Kaul has forced the DNR to consider the overall effects of well permitting on an individual level. The Department will make a fact-specific determination in each case and will consider environmental impacts when reviewing a proposed high capacity well application if presented with sufficient concrete, scientific evidence of potential harm. Additional information on the state's current well-permitting process

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Published

June 2, 2020 - 12:23pm
Madison, WI