Via Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune:

MADISON — A state appeals court Thursday ruled that the Department of Natural Resources’ study of the Richfield Dairy’s two proposed wells failed to consider the impact on other high-capacity pumping in the Central Sands area.

The District IV Court of Appeals opinion reverses a Dane County judge who determined that an environmental impact statement was not needed to assess the “cumulative effects” on the area of the dairy’s amended request to annually pump 52.5 million gallons of water.

The DNR conducted a less extensive environmental assessment after Richfield proposed a 4,300-cow-and-250-steer dairy in the Adams County town of Richfield and issued permits for the high-capacity wells and wastewater discharge.

Appeals Judge Paul Higginbotham faulted the DNR’s environmental assessment as “inadequate.”

“We conclude that the EA prepared by the DNR was inadequate because there is no indication that the DNR considered the cumulative effects of the two high-capacity wells on the environment,” Higginbotham wrote in the 23-page opinion.

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