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Environmental Groups File Motion in DBA Suit Against DNR
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/06/2017

Six environmental groups have filed a motion this week to intervene in the Dairy Business Association's lawsuit against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources over how the agency regulates rainwater on larger farms. Clean Wisconsin, along with the Clean Water Action Council, Friends of the Central Sands, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Milwaukee Riverkeeper and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, say they feel the case could have major ramifications on ground water quality.

"The bottom line is that the suit includes a suggestion to undermine and blow up the permitting program," Scott Laeser with Clean Wisconsin told the Door County Pulse. "That is what we are concerned about. It seems that there would be a clear, more straightforward way to resolve these other issues that pertain to guidance the DNR has issued besides this potential legal threat to undermine the entire permitting process."

In July, the DBA filed the suit in Brown County Circuit Court claiming the agency has been implementing new regulations without going through an approval process required by state law. The organization said it specifically dislikes the DNR's policy change on how farmers manage rainwater that comes into contact with feed storage or calf hutch areas.

DBA says about 100 of their members have been impacted by the DNR's new policy. As a result, the lawsuit seeks to stop DNR's ongoing efforts to skirt the formal rulemaking process, as specified in the Act 21 legislation signed by Governor Scott Walker in 2011.

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