More Review Urged For Western Wisconsin High-Capacity Well
Midwest Environmental Advocates, a public-interest law firm, is criticizing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource's evaluation to date of a high-capacity well in Western Wisconsin near Copper Creek, and is urging the agency to produce a full-scale environmental impact statement to better evaluate the project.
Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) stated that the agency's assumptions in its Environmental Assessment are "erroneous, unsupported and contrary to readily available data..."
According to MEA, approval of the well would be unlawful due to the inadequacy of the environmental analysis, failure to include conditions that "ensure that the well does not cause significant adverse environmental impact" and "failure to include conditions that will assure maintenance of flow conditions in Copper Creek 'such that the fish populations and critical habitat are not adversely affected...'"Regulating such wells have been much in the news lately.
Details, below (And let me add this from another source about possible uses of the water.):
For Immediate Release
July 22, 2011
Save Copper Creek Submits Legal and Scientific Response to DNR on High-Capacity Well
Utica, WI - Midwest Environmental Advocates, a nonprofit environmental law center representing Save Copper Creek, has told the Department of Natural Resources that the agency's pending approval of a high-capacity well, two miles west of Mt. Sterling in the Utica Township in Crawford County, would be unlawful. Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) stated that the agency's assumptions in its Environmental Assessment are "erroneous, unsupported and contrary to readily available data."
MEA said that because the developer of the proposed well has not done the needed investigative work regarding the impacts of high capacity pumping, the Department has had to guess at the likely impacts of the well, and to make assumptions regarding the hydrogeology and biology of the area without the actual scientific data that is necessary to make reasoned decisions regarding well approval.
MEA's conclusions are based on letters submitted to the Department from hydrogeologist Robert J. Nauta of RJN Environmental Services and UW-Milwaukee Biology Professor Timothy J. Ehlinger.
According to MEA, approval of the well would be unlawful due to the inadequacy of the environmental analysis, failure to include conditions that "ensure that the well does not cause significant adverse environmental impact" and "failure to include conditions that will assure maintenance of flow conditions in Copper Creek 'such that the fish populations and critical habitat are not adversely affected.'"
The input of the scientific experts should lead the Department to "change course" and collect additional data, perform additional analysis and prepare a full Environmental Impact Statement, according to the MEA letter.
MEA noted that both Mr. Nauta and Dr. Ehlinger had criticized the Department’s reliance on a single stream flow measurement taken in March versus measurements taken during low flow periods. Dr. Ehlinger also noted the "complete lack of any factual basis" for the Department's conclusion regarding the ability of the fishery to recover if groundwater pumping harms the Copper Creek fishery.
Mr. Nauta and Dr. Ehlinger identified specific areas in which further investigation is needed, including an aquifer performance test, a groundwater model, an examination of trout age structure, and review by qualified cold water fisheries biologists and hydrogeologists.
The Department has indicated that it would issue an approval for this well some time after July 22, 2011.
Save Copper Creek (SCC) is a local group formed in May to fight the proposed high-capacity well. The organization also submitted to the DNR more than 850 petition signatures opposing the well.
SCC is a project of the Kickapoo Cultural Exchange, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Gays Mills, Wisconsin.
Bob Van Hoesen
Attorney Dennis Grzezinski
Attachments include letters from MEA, Mr. Nauta and Dr. Ehlinger.
James: who wants to draw the water?
Anyonymous - - I add this to the posting. It appears to be one property owner, as a seller...
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