Judge Rules Against Regulatory Overreach

APPLETON – In a major victory for Wisconsin employers, Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Mark McGinnis ruled today that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) improperly imposed high-capacity well monitoring requirements for a dairy because the agency lacked specific authority granted by the Legislature.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley applauded the ruling:

“This is a major victory for employers in Wisconsin because it sends a clear message to government regulators that they can’t impose requirements without an explicit legal basis for doing so. In 2011, Governor Walker and the Legislature enacted sweeping regulatory reforms to hold state agency regulators accountable, and today’s ruling shows that the days of regulating by bureaucratic fiat are over in Wisconsin.”

In the case at issue, the DNR had imposed groundwater monitoring requirements not authorized under state law on New Chester Dairy. New Chester challenged the monitoring requirements in court, citing the 2011 regulatory reform law (Act 21) that prohibits agencies from imposing permit conditions that are not explicitly authorized by statute or administrative code.

WMC and a coalition of business groups intervened in the case because of the statewide ramifications for all industry. The Great Lakes Legal Foundation represented the WMC and others.

Related Material:
Background

For Further Information Contact:
Scott Manley, (608) 258-3400

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