Sen. Gudex Introduces High Capacity Well Legislation

Legislation dealing with high capacity wells has recently been at the center of attention in the capitol. Several bills dealing with the regulation and permitting of high capacity wells have been introduced and have had extensive public hearings.

Senate Bill 239, authored by Senator Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac), clarifies DNR permit regulations for existing high capacity wells. The bill provides that no additional approval is required for previously existing high capacity well owners to repair, maintain, or replace existing wells with one of similar dimensions and capacities.

Under existing rules, high capacity well owners need approval in writing from the DNR to reconstruct and build wells.

While environmentalists testifying at the hearing said SB 293 would eliminate oversight, supporters say the legislation gives needed certainty to farm owners and other high capacity well users, so that they may continue to use their wells as their original permits have allowed.

The bill has not yet been scheduled for a committee vote.