Wisconsin DNR settles CAFO lawsuit

Wisconsin DNR settles CAFO lawsuit

The state Department of Natural Resources has agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging the agency is over-regulating large livestock operations.

The Dairy Business Association filed the lawsuit July 31. It alleges the DNR has stopped allowing farmers to move run-off through vegetation patches to filter pollution without going through the administrative rule-making process. It also alleges the agency has assumed oversight of calf hutches without going through the rule-making process and is illegally requiring the farms to obtain a pollution discharge permit regardless of whether they actually pollute state waters.

Under the settlement announced Thursday, the DNR agreed the vegetation patches are valid pollution-control systems and not to regulate calf hutches. The dairy association agreed to drop its claim that the agency is illegally requiring farms to get permits.