An appealed circuit court decision that impacts Kewaunee County and deals with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) authority to regulate water pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations, is going to the state supreme court. The Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA), who on behalf of petitioners from Kewaunee County, filed the challenge that Kinnard Farms’ water discharge permit did not do enough to protect water resources and public health. MEA Staff Attorney Tressie Kamp says a decision by the state supreme court to resolve the matter fairly quickly is likely.
An administrative law judge in 2014 had issued a decision that included orders for groundwater monitoring and capping the number of animals as enforceable permit conditions. That decision was initially agreed to by the DNR and later denied by Secretary Cathy Stepp. A Dane County Circuit Court later overturned Stepp’s decision. A DNR appeal of that decision was then asked to be taken up by the Wisconsin Supreme Court along with a high-capacity well-permitting case.