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    Aug. 16, 2021
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    In this article from the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, David Strifling, discusses an “unprecedented makeover in longstanding principles of state-level administrative law” that “shift[ed] power away from agencies and toward courts, the legislature, and the governor.”

    Jul. 20, 2021
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    When oil and gas prices plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic as countries went into lockdown, companies began invoking force majeure clauses to change obligations under their contracts. Katherine Plachta discusses the debate surrounding COVID-19 as a force majeure event.

    Jun. 17, 2021
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Laws and policies can do double duty to lessen climate change and also help communities prepare for natural disasters. Betsy Lawton discusses two climate mitigation opportunities to provide public health co-benefits: use of sun and shade.

    Jun. 07, 2021
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Rollbacks in 2020 of federal protection of waterways and wetlands under the Clean Water Act left millions of wetland acres in Wisconsin vulnerable to development. Michael Cain discusses a collaboration by Wisconsin’s Green Fire and The Nature Conservancy

    May 13, 2021
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Carbon farming ideas and infrastructure are cropping up at the state and federal level. Jane Landretti discusses how policies and private interests are sowing seeds for infrastructure that could transform how we think about incentives for agricultural practices that promote cover crops and healthy soils.

    Mar. 08, 2021
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    The agricultural industry can expect big changes from the Biden Administration, says Christina Puhnaty. President Biden made direct promises to the agricultural industry to improve the lives of farmers and rural U.S. in general, and promised to partner with the agricultural industry to combat climate change.

    Feb. 04, 2021
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    With flooding an increasing problem in Wisconsin, directing and controlling surface water drainage is important for property owners. Rick Manthe discusses the “reasonable use” rule, and the potential consequences of diverting surface water ontoneighboring properties.

    Dec. 14, 2020
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Residents and communities around Wisconsin are experiencing more flooding and heavy rainstorms, causing lost homes and lives and significant property damage. Andrea Gelatt explores the challenges from intense flooding and efforts to mitigate those risks.

    Nov. 17, 2020
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Nov. 04, 2020
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Wisconsin is seeing more record high water levels in the Great Lakes and local groundwater. Caleb Tomaszewski says Wisconsin attorneys should be aware of this issue, as high water levels will be at the center of future legal challenges.

    Aug. 25, 2020
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Jul. 15, 2020
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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

    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.

    Apr. 17, 2020
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Apr. 07, 2020
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Wis. Admin. Code § NR 2.20 is not a new rule, and its validity has been challenged before. U.W. law student Hannah S. Richerson discusses why the issue bears repeating.

    Feb. 25, 2020
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    The state Legislature is currently weighing several water quality proposals that would affect the processes for establishing certain types of water quality standards in Wisconsin. Leslie Freehill explores the details of three of these proposals.

    Dec. 18, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Nov. 18, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Sep. 19, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Sep. 05, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Aug. 21, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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

    Jun. 24, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Jun. 10, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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" 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.

    Apr. 17, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Apr. 03, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Jan. 29, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Environmental law practitioners should be aware of numerous changes contained in 2017 Wisconsin Act 369 that may affect their practice. Leslie Freehill discusses the Act and highlights many of its changes.

    Jan. 23, 2019
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Dec. 20, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Nov. 26, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Tribes are important players alongside the federal and state governments in setting and enforcing environmental standards. Robert Lundberg discusses a current complication of tribal Clean Water Act regulation.

    Nov. 07, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Sep. 12, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    The Wisconsin Legislature recently directed the DNR to study whether Wisconsin assume permitting authority over federal wetlands. Ted Warpinski and Chris Meuler discuss the mechanics of assumed jurisdiction as well as its potential benefits and costs.

    Aug. 16, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    This administration has made a number of significant changes to how the Environmental Protection Agency addresses scientific expertise and evidence. Steph Tai provides a brief summary of many of these changes.

    Jul. 24, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

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

    Jul. 17, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Jun. 26, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    For the first time, opponents have challenged an approved diversion of Great Lakes water outside the Great Lakes basin. David Strifling discusses the challenge, and what it means for the Great Lakes Compact.

    Jun. 12, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Ozone pollution is a public health hazard and a complex problem for the states, power plants, and industrial facilities that are responsible for reducing ground-level ozone. Maggie Brown and Sarah Geers discuss what the 2015 ozone air quality standard means for Wisconsin

    May 14, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently issued a decision involving property owners with competing water-related private rights. The decision, says Gabe Johnson-Karp, has the potential to affect the property rights of thousands of property owners along Wisconsin’s flowages.

    Apr. 09, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    Wisconsin's Right to Farm Law in its current form is now more than 20 years old and, from a legal perspective, largely untested. Tressie Kamp surveys Right to Farm Law updates in Wisconsin and other states since 2002.

    Feb. 14, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Jan. 18, 2018
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Dec. 21, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Oct. 31, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Sep. 21, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Aug. 24, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Jul. 18, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Jun. 20, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Jun. 06, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    May 18, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    After a brief request for readers’ input to help get this fledgling blog off the ground, Gabe Johnson-Karp discusses two current issues in the area of water law.

    Apr. 20, 2017
    Environmental Law Section Blog

    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.

    Apr. 19, 2017
    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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