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Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Dairy Farm's High-Capacity Well

08:46AM Sep 08, 2014

A judge's ruling could have far-reaching implications for the growing use of high-capacity wells in Wisconsin.

Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Boldt ruled that the Department of Natural Resources failed to consider the accumulated effects of groundwater use when the agency reviewed an application for a high-capacity well for a $35 million dairy farm.

Boldt says the DNR "took an unreasonably limited view of its authority" and failed to adequately consider "basic science" when it evaluated an application for a high-capacity well in Adams County in central Wisconsin.

The proposed farm, Richfield Dairy, is in the Central Sand region, home of the heaviest irrigation and groundwater use in Wisconsin. Scientists say the effect of groundwater use has lowered water tables.

A DNR spokesman tells the Journal Sentinel agency attorneys are reviewing the ruling.