Friday, September 5, 2014

Judge Tells DNR, Big Dairy To Follow Constitution On Water Usage

We'll see if the DNR decides to adhere to the Wisconsin Constitution's Public Trust Doctrine - - and common sense - - to prevent groundwater depletion on the public's behalf, as an administrative law judge has just ruled in a mega-dairy's permitting case:
In his opinion, [Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey] Boldt wrote: "Significantly, no water resources expert testified that one could properly consider the concrete scientific evidence relating to the water cycle without considering cumulative impacts. Rather, many testified that basic science required it."
Note how the judge is guided by the Public Trust Doctrine - - the people's historic guarantee of water quality and access in Wisconsin - -  as the DNR's website continues to explain:
The [State Supreme] court has ruled that DNR staff, when they review projects that could impact Wisconsin lakes and rivers, must consider the cumulative impacts of individual projects in their decisions. "A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin State Supreme Court justices in their opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC.
Multiple posts about these issues on this blog. One, here. Consult the search box, upper left corner, for more context.

 For now, an important victory for law and clean water in Wisconsin.

1 comment:

Boxer said...

James, thanks for trotting out Hixon v. PSC every chance you get. Keep it up--Wisconsin needs to hear it.