A judge says the state of Wisconsin can force large dairy farms to get environmental permits before they do anything with their manure.
The judge in Calumet County yesterday ruled that state law allows the DNR to proactively protect Wisconsin’s waterways, and said that gives the DNR the power to force dairy farms to prove their manure won’t pollute the local water system. On the other side, some farmers fought the idea, saying federal law doesn’t allow environmental regulators to force farmers to get permits before they release any manure. The judge says Wisconsin law has a carve-out. It’s not clear just what the ruling will mean for large dairy farms in the state, or when an appeal may be coming in the case.