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DNR Revises High Capacity Well Review Process

DNR announced today its plan to revise its high capacity well review process in response to Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul’s earlier letter withdrawing of OAG–01–16.

In 2016, the Wisconsin Legislature requested AG Kaul’s predecessor, Attorney General Brad Schimel, write an opinion pertaining to DNR’s statutory authority for its high capacity well permit program in light of Act 21. The result, OAG–01–16, stated: “Act 21 makes clear that permit conditions and rulemaking may no longer be premised on implied agency authority.”

On May 1, 2020, AG Kaul formally withdrew OAG–01–16 “in light of Lake Beulah Management District v. DNR” and the Circuit Court decision in Clean Wisconsin.

GLLF responded to AG Kaul’s withdrawal with a letter on May 11. GLLF is currently evaluating its next moves in response to DNR’s announcement.