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Clean Wisconsin Suing DNR Over High-Capacity Well Policy

Environmental Group Alleges DNR Is Violating State Constitution


The environmental group Clean Wisconsin has filed nine lawsuits against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, alleging the agency is violating the state Constitution because of the way it reviews high-capacity well permits.

Clean Wisconsin attorney Carl Sinderbrand said excessive pumping is causing lakes and streams to dry up in the central sands region of the state.

“Wisconsin has always been a center for water protection,” Sinderbrand said. “This is who we are. This is part of our identity. And it’s being stolen from us by our government officials who ought to be protecting and preserving those resources for us.”

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Sinderbrand is accused the DNR of violating Wisconsin’s Constitution, which he claimed “requires the state to protect our lakes and rivers for the benefit of the public. The DNR is not doing its job. The governor and the legislature, and now the attorney general, are pushing the DNR to do an even worse job.”

Sinderbrand said the DNR should not be following the advice of Attorney General Brad Schimel to not consider the cumulative impact of high-capacity wells on nearby bodies of water. The wells have been defended because of their importance to Wisconsin’s agriculture economy.