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Central Sands Group Urges DNR Secretary To Reject AG’s Opinion On High Capacity Wells

Group Fears Opinion Will Lead To Drawdown Of State Waters


A Central Sands advocacy group is urging the head of the Department of Natural Resources to reject Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel’s stance on high capacity wells, saying the AG’s opinion may lead to a drawdown of state waters.

Schimel has said the DNR can’t go beyond what’s allowed under state law in regulating construction of high capacity wells. Friends of the Central Sands Board President Bob Clarke said Schimel’s opinion limits DNR authority to consider impacts of all high capacity wells in a region on state waters when permitting a single well.

“How many straws can you put in a glass of water before the water’s gone? One well in and of itself may not have much impact, but the five, 10, 15, 20 wells around that area have a significant impact,” said Clarke.

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Clarke sent a letter to DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp this week urging the agency to disregard Schimel’s stance. In an email, a DNR spokeswoman said staff members are working on plans to carry out the Attorney General’s opinion, adding that it’s too early to say what the permitting process may look like.