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    • November
      17
      2020
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Environmental Regulation after U.S. Supreme Court's McGirt Decision

      This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a criminal case that could have ripple effects in many other areas of practice, including environmental law. Robert Lundberg discusses McGirt v. Oklahoma and why it is relevant for environmental practitioners.

    • August
      25
      2020
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      DNR Responds to Changes and Challenges in Wisconsin’s Forest Products Industry

      Forests cover nearly half of Wisconsin’s landscape, and forest products play an important role in the state’s economy. Kassie Lang and Sara Fox discuss a history of the state’s forest products industry and legal mechanisms adopted in response to past challenges, and consider responses to the recent idling of one of the state’s largest mills.

    • July
      15
      2020
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Environmental Justice in Wisconsin: Law, Policy, or Neither?

      Environmental justice addresses race-based environmental disparities, taking into account the impact of environmental decision-making on minority and low-income communities, and striving to increase access to decision-making processes. Christa Westerbergdiscusses how environmental justice has been implemented in Wisconsin.

    • May
      13
      2020
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      EPA’s COVID-19 Policy and What it Means for Wisconsin

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its intention to exercise civil enforcement discretion when regulated entities fail to meet legal requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic. Vanessa Wishart and Andrea Gelatt discuss thememorandum and its implications for regulated entities and the environment.

    • April
      17
      2020
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Real-time Control of Stormwater Management Systems

      The University of Notre Dame Journal on Emerging Technologies published Overcoming Legal and Institutional Barriers to the Implementation of Innovative Environmental Technologies, an article that addresses challenges to effective stormwater management. David Strifling, one of the article’s authors, provides an excerpt of the article.

    • December
      18
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Wisconsin DNR Priorities: Drinking Water, PFAS, Nitrates, Lead Pipes

      The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently outlined its future priorities – including addressing clean drinking water in the state through rulemaking processes and analysis of emergent contaminants. Adam Voskuil outlines these priorities, as presented at a recent Environmental Law Update at the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    • November
      18
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Milwaukee's Progress as a Water Hub

      How would you rate Milwaukee’s record on becoming a water hub? Alan Borsuk discusses the progress of a 10-year-old idea that Milwaukee should become a world leader in water expertise. “One important aspect of that: Growth in water-related jobs and businesses has not been what was anticipated,” he writes.

    • September
      19
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Lame Duck Impact on Potential PFAS Litigation

      The Wisconsin Legislature recently enacted legislation that could impact the ability of the attorney general to enter into and execute agreements involving contamination from PFAS, a substance that does not easily break down. Rob Lee discusses PFAS contamination and the impact of legislation in Wisconsin.

    • September
      05
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      EPA Proposes to Roll Back Longstanding Policy for Hazardous Air Pollutants

      The EPA recently published a proposed rule to end the longstanding “once in, always in” requirement for sources subject to the most stringent hazardous air pollutants standards. James Bridges discusses the history of the policy, as well as what the future may hold for federal air toxics regulation.

    • August
      21
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Circuit Split: Discharges through Groundwater Under the Clean Water Act

      The Circuit Courts of Appeal are split on whether the Clean Water Act regulates pollutants that travel through groundwater before reaching navigable waters. Ameya Gehi delves into key case law and examine both the historical and future impact of this spli

    • June
      24
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Federal Ozone Litigation: What's at Stake for Wisconsin

      As we head into another summer ozone season, EPA's final nonattainment designations for Wisconsin counties remain in effect, and remain in dispute. Katie Nekola discusses the status of Clean Wisconsin v. United States Environmental Protection Agency and what it means for Wisconsin.

    • June
      10
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Comprehensive PFAS Legislation Introduced in Wisconsin

      Recently proposed legislation could have significant impacts on the state’s regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, otherwise known as PFAS. Arthur Harrington and Edward Witte discuss the details of the proposal.

    • May
      13
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Big Data: A Powerful Tool for Your Practice

      "Big data" is everywhere, but lawyers may have little idea what it is or how it can help their practice. Barry Blonien discusses what big data is, and offers some thoughts on using it in your practice.

    • April
      17
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      High Capacity Wells Case May Impact All State Agencies

      The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case concerning groundwater withdrawals and the public trust doctrine. Evan Feinauer discusses the background of this case, and how the Supreme Court decision might extend beyond environmental law to impact every administrative agency in Wisconsin.

    • April
      03
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Recent Developments in Water Quality Trading

      Two recent developments in water quality trading at the federal and state level may change how trading occurs in Wisconsin. Vanessa Wishart discusses the developments and what they may mean for Wisconsin.

    • January
      23
      2019
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Minimizing the Risk of Lead Intake at Schools

      The Safe Drinking Water Act regulates the public water systems that deliver water to the schools. Too often, this broad focus on public systems overlooks the potential contamination sources on private (or school) property, says David Strifling, such as lead service lines and indoor lead plumbing fittings.

    • December
      20
      2018
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      PFAS: A Contaminant of Emerging Importance

      A family of chemicals known as Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS, is coming under growing regulatory focus as “emerging contaminants” under the scrutiny of the Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agencies.

    • November
      07
      2018
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Municipal Zoning Authority Challenged by Building Permits

      In early 2018, the Wisconsin Supreme Court expanded the scope of the Building Permit Rule to encompass all land included in a building permit application, not just the buildings themselves. Adam Voskuil discusses what led to that decision and its potential effects moving forward.

    • July
      24
      2018
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Groundwater: A ‘Gaining Stream’ of Controversy

      Legal and policy disputes surrounding groundwater are gaining in importance, says David Strifling, who reviews recent and pending cases involving groundwater disputes.

    • July
      17
      2018
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Changes in Metallic Mining Laws Effective July 1, 2018

      Mining for metals such as copper, lead, iron, and zinc has played a major role in the history and development of several regions of Wisconsin. Cheryl Widder Heilman discusses recent changes to Wisconsin’s nonferrous metallic mining laws in 2017 Wisconsin Act 134.

    • February
      14
      2018
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Restoring Forests in Kenya Began with One Woman’s Dream

      A Kenyan biologist in the 1970s recognized the connection between environmental damage and poverty – and did something about it. Cynthia Hirsch talks about Wangari Maathai, the 2004 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the impact one woman can have on the wellbeing of her country.

    • January
      18
      2018
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Mitigation is a Local Issue

      State and federal disaster planning and response is important, but local actions before and after the event can be the difference between a catastrophe and a close call. Michael Polich discusses federal and state rules for local emergency planning in Wisconsin.

    • December
      21
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      High Capacity, High Controversy: The Battle Over Wisconsin Wells Continues

      A recent Dane County Circuit Court ruling is the latest twist in the ongoing legal battle surrounding high capacity well permits. Leslie Freehill discusses the decision, which renews the debate over DNR’s regulatory authority and the significance of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 2011 Lake Beulah decision.

    • October
      31
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Why Wetland Mitigation Banking Is So Costly

      While some may presume the costs reflect greedy wetland mitigation bank sponsors, Heidi Kennedy discusses the costs and risks behind wetland mitigation banking that influence the costs.

    • September
      21
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      DNR Updates Guidance for Vapor Intrusion Risk at Contaminated Sites

      The Department of Natural Resources recently proposed changes to existing guidance for assessing vapor intrusion risk at contaminated sites. Ted Warpinski and Andy Skwierawski outline the proposed updates and their effect on contaminated sites.

    • August
      24
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Wisconsin Highway Projects Face Biennial Budget Impasse and Federal Lawsuits

      Wisconsin’s biennial budget, now nearly two months past due, is delayed over transportation issues. Dennis Grzezinski discusses how federal lawsuits involving Wisconsin highway projects may raise questions about the state's management of transportation issues.

    • July
      18
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      The Dirt on PAHs: New DNR Guidance Proposed for Assessing Soil Contamination

      The Department of Natural Resources recently proposed new guidance for assessing residual contamination levels in soils. The proposed guidance offers an alternative method for assessing seven cPAH compounds using a cumulative risk approach, say Cheryl Heilman and Ned Witte.

    • June
      20
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Implementing Wisconsin’s New Multi-Discharger Variance for Phosphorus

      The Department of Natural Resource’s newly approved multi-discharger variance for phosphorus provides another option for municipal publicly owned treatment plants and other point source dischargers. Vanessa D. Wishart outlines the new policy and its implementation.

    • June
      06
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Wisconsin Assembly Ponders Significant Changes to Chapter 88 Drainage Legislation

      The Wisconsin State Assembly has introduced legislation to amend or eliminate numerous sections of Chapter 88 and related statutes, providing the biggest updates to the drainage statutes in decades. The bill proposed by the Wisconsin State Assembly affects a wide range of areas from farming to conservation, say John Mitby and Elizabeth Spencer.

    • April
      20
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Earth Day Reflections on Wisconsin’s Conservation History

      In light of recent calls for changes in environmental law and in honor of Earth Day 2017, Tressie Kamp reflects on unique components of Wisconsin’s conservation history and its impact on the practice of environmental law.

    • April
      19
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Welcome to the Environmental Law Section Blog

      The Environmental Law Section welcomes you to its new blog, featuring monthly posts designed to deliver the latest news, practical advice, and valuable resources for environmental practitioners.

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