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DNR Switches Sides to Join Clean Wisconsin in Act 21 Cases

On May 7, 2019, DNR (represented by the Department of Justice) requested to switch sides in in the Hi Cap and Kinnard Farm cases currently before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Both cases involve challenges to permits previously issued by DNR and implicate explicit agency authority under 2001 Wis. Act 21. 

DOJ/DNR requests to take positions before the Court entirely contrary to those positions taken in the lower courts, including positions “regarding the public trust doctrine; the import of this Court’s decision in Lake Beulah; and the effect of 2011 Wis. Act 21 on [DNR’s] authority regarding high capacity well permitting.” In all “meaningful respects,” DNR will urge the Court to vacate its own lawfully granted permits. 

GLLF will file a response to the request early next week. If granted, the switch would leave GLLF, an intervenor, the only advocate for Act 21 and limited agency authority in the Hi Cap wells case. Thus far, GLLF only participated in Kinnard Farms as amici and so cannot file a response to the motion.