281.34(7m)(a)1. 1. “Designated study area" means the area made up of the Fourteenmile Creek Watershed, the Ten Mile Creek Watershed, and the Lone Rock-Fourteenmile Creek Watershed, located in Adams, Portage, Waushara, and Wood counties, as designated by the U.S. Geological Survey.
281.34(7m)(a)2. 2. “Qualified lake association" means an association that meets the qualifications under s. 281.68 (3m) (a).
281.34(7m)(b) (b) The department shall evaluate and model the hydrology of Pleasant Lake in Waushara County, Plainfield Lake and Long Lake in the designated study area, and any other navigable stream or navigable lake located in the designated study area for which the department seeks to determine whether existing and potential groundwater withdrawals are causing or are likely to cause a significant reduction of the navigable stream's or navigable lake's rate of flow or water level below its average seasonal levels. The department may request, under s. 13.10, the joint committee on finance to provide funding and positions for the evaluation and modeling under this paragraph. The evaluation under this paragraph shall include all relevant factors that may affect groundwater and water levels and rates of flow of navigable waters, including topography, ground cover, annual and seasonal variations in precipitation, and plant life. The department shall begin the evaluation and modeling under this paragraph no later than June 3, 2018.
281.34(7m)(c) (c) If upon conclusion of the evaluation and modeling of the area under par. (b) the department determines that special measures relating to existing and potential groundwater withdrawal are necessary in all or part of that area to prevent or remedy a significant reduction of a navigable stream's or navigable lake's rate of flow or water level below its average seasonal levels, the department shall issue a decision on whether it recommends that the legislature adopt, by statute, special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal in all or part of that area. If the department issues a decision recommending that the legislature adopt, by statute, special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal in all or part of that area, the decision shall contain all of the following information:
281.34(7m)(c)1. 1. A description of the extent to which the department has determined that cumulative groundwater withdrawals in all or part of the area cause, or are expected to cause, a significant reduction of a navigable stream's or navigable lake's rate of flow or water level below its average seasonal levels.
281.34(7m)(c)2. 2. A description of the concrete scientific information that the department used to establish that there is a hydrologic connection between the groundwater in all or part of the area and the navigable waters in all or part of the area and a causal relationship between groundwater withdrawal in all or part of the area and an existing or potential significant reduction of a navigable stream's or navigable lake's rate of flow or water level below its average seasonal levels, and the degree to which the department verified the connection and causal relationship by the use of field work or field study.
281.34(7m)(c)3. 3. A description of the geographical boundaries of the area to which the department recommends special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal should apply. The department shall identify in the description the specific navigable water or part of the navigable water that is or may be affected by cumulative groundwater withdrawals and shall identify the location of the groundwater withdrawals that the department has determined are causing or may cause a significant reduction of a navigable stream's or navigable lake's rate of flow or water level below its average seasonal levels.
281.34(7m)(c)4. 4. Any proposed special measures in the area described under subd. 3. that the department recommends that the legislature adopt, by statute, to prevent or remedy a significant reduction of a navigable stream's or navigable lake's rate of flow or water level below its average seasonal levels.
281.34(7m)(c)5. 5. An economic impact analysis of the economic effect of the special measures recommended under subd. 4. on specific businesses, business sectors, public utility ratepayers, local governmental units, and the state's economy as a whole.
281.34(7m)(d) (d) The department shall hold a public informational hearing to solicit comments on the department's decision under par. (c). The department shall give notice of the hearing to each person who owns land in the area that would be affected by the proposed special measures under par. (c) 4. and to each owner of a well in that area if the well owner has notified the department of the location of that well.
281.34(7m)(e) (e) After holding the public hearing under par. (d), the department shall prepare a report on whether it recommends that the legislature adopt, by statute, special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal in the area described in its decision under par. (c) 3. No later than 3 years after beginning the evaluation and modeling under par. (b), the department shall submit the report to the joint committee on finance and to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution under s. 13.172 (3) to the appropriate legislative standing committees generally responsible for legislation related to environmental issues.
281.34(7m)(f) (f) If the department recommends in its report submitted under par. (e) that the legislature adopt, by statute, special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal in the area described in its decision under par. (c) 3., the department shall prepare an additional report specifying the special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal in that area that the department recommends that the legislature adopt, by statute, to prevent or remedy a significant reduction of a navigable stream's or navigable lake's rate of flow or water level below its average seasonal levels. No later than 3 years after beginning the evaluation and modeling under par. (b), the department shall submit the report to the joint committee on finance and to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution under s. 13.172 (3) to the appropriate legislative standing committees generally responsible for legislation related to environmental issues.
281.34(7m)(g) (g) Neither a decision of the department under par. (c) nor a recommendation of the department under par. (e) are final decisions. Notwithstanding ss. 227.42 (1) and 227.52, no person is entitled to administrative or judicial review of a department decision under par. (c) or a department recommendation under par. (e).
281.34(7m)(h) (h) The special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal recommended by the department under par. (c) 4. or (f) shall not be effective unless adopted by the legislature by statute. Notwithstanding par. (j), nothing in this subsection shall affect the department's review of applications and issuance of approvals for high capacity wells located in the area studied under par. (b).
281.34(7m)(i) (i) The owner of a high capacity well that is constructed in the area studied under par. (b) after June 3, 2017, or who takes any of the actions described in sub. (2g) (a) 2. to 4. in the area studied under par. (b) after June 3, 2017, shall provide to the department, with the owner's annual pumping report under sub. (5) (e) 2., readings of a water meter showing the volume of water usage of that high capacity well in gallons.
281.34(7m)(j)1.1. The department may issue an approval under this section to a qualified lake association or lake district to construct and operate a new high capacity well, or to operate an existing approved high capacity well, for the sole purpose of providing water to a lake that is located wholly or partially in the area studied under par. (b) to assist the department in evaluating and modeling the hydrology of that area under par. (b), if the department determines that the lake's water level has been significantly reduced below its average seasonal levels. For any approval application submitted by a qualified lake association or lake district under this paragraph, the department shall waive the application fee under sub. (2), expedite the review and approval process to the greatest extent possible, and include, as a condition of the approval, a limit on the water level of the lake that may be reached as a result of the water provided by the proposed well. The department may not issue an approval to a qualified lake association or lake district under this paragraph if it determines that providing water from the proposed high capacity well to a lake is likely to result in a violation of a water quality standard under s. 281.15 for that lake.
281.34(7m)(j)2. 2. The department shall develop and administer a financial assistance program to provide assistance to qualified lake associations and lake districts for all or part of the cost of constructing or operating an approved high capacity well under this paragraph. The financial assistance program shall include provisions relating to cost-sharing from qualified lake associations and lake districts receiving assistance under the program.
281.34(7m)(j)3. 3. The department shall consider, in its evaluation and modeling under par. (b), the effects of the groundwater withdrawal and the supply of water to a lake resulting from any high capacity well constructed under this paragraph.
281.34(7m)(k) (k) Paragraphs (i) and (j) cease to apply in, and, notwithstanding sub. (7), approvals shall expire that were issued under par. (j) in, any part of the area studied under par. (b) to which any of the following applies:
281.34(7m)(k)1. 1. The department submits a report under par. (e) recommending that no special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal in that part of the area be adopted.
281.34(7m)(k)2. 2. The department does not submit the report under par. (e) or (f) within 3 years after beginning the evaluation and modeling under par. (b).
281.34(7m)(k)3. 3. The legislature does not adopt, by statute, special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal in that part of the area within 12 months after receiving a report from the department under par. (f).
281.34(7m)(k)4. 4. The legislature adopts, by statute, special measures relating to groundwater withdrawal in that part of the area.
281.34(8) (8)Groundwater protection areas.
281.34(8)(a)(a) The department shall promulgate rules identifying class I, class II, and class III trout streams for the purposes of this section. The department shall identify as a class I trout stream a stream or portion of a stream with a self-sustaining population of trout. The department shall identify as a class II trout stream a stream or portion of a stream that contains a population of trout made up of one or more age groups, above the age one year, in sufficient numbers to indicate substantial survival from one year to the next but in which stocking is necessary to fully utilize the available trout habitat or to sustain the fishery. The department shall identify as a class III trout stream a stream or portion of a stream that has marginal trout habitat with no natural reproduction of trout occurring, requiring annual stocking of trout to provide trout fishing, and generally without carryover of trout from one year to the next. In the rules under this paragraph, the department shall identify any class I, class II, or class III trout stream that is a farm drainage ditch with no prior stream history.
281.34(8)(b) (b) The department shall create accurate images of groundwater protection areas.
281.34(8)(c) (c) A person who proposes to construct a high capacity well may request the department to determine whether the proposed location of the high capacity well is within a groundwater protection area.
281.34(8)(d) (d) The department shall administer a program to mitigate the effects of wells constructed before May 7, 2004, that are located in groundwater protection areas. Mitigation may include abandonment of wells and replacement of wells, if necessary, and management strategies. Under the mitigation program, the department may order the owner of a well constructed before May 7, 2004, that is located in a groundwater protection area to undertake mitigation but only if the department provides funding for the full cost of the mitigation, except that full funding is not required if the department is authorized under ch. 280 to require the well to be abandoned because of issues regarding public health.
281.34(9) (9)Groundwater management areas.
281.34(9)(a)(a) The department shall, by rule, designate 2 groundwater management areas including and surrounding Brown County and Waukesha County consisting of the entire area of each city, village, and town at least a portion of which is within the area in which, on May 7, 2004, the groundwater potentiometric surface has been reduced 150 feet or more from the level at which the potentiometric surface would be if no groundwater had been pumped.
281.34(9)(b) (b) The department shall assist local governmental units and regional planning commissions in groundwater management areas designated under par. (a) by providing advice, incentives, and funding for research and planning related to groundwater management.
281.34(9)(c) (c) If the groundwater advisory committee created under 2003 Wisconsin Act 310, section 15 (2) (b) does not issue the report under 2003 Wisconsin Act 310, section 15 (2) (e) by January 1, 2007, the department shall promulgate rules using its authority under ss. 281.12 (1) and 281.35 to address the management of groundwater in groundwater management areas.
281.34(9)(d) (d) If the department promulgates rules under par. (c) and the rules require mitigation in the same or a similar manner as under sub. (8) (d), the department may not require mitigation for a well under the rules unless the department provides funding for the full cost of the mitigation, except that full funding is not required if the department is authorized under ch. 280 to require the well to be abandoned because of issues regarding public health.
281.34(10) (10)Research and monitoring. To aid in the administration of this section the department shall, with the advice of the groundwater coordinating council, conduct monitoring and research related to all of the following:
281.34(10)(a) (a) Interaction of groundwater and surface water.
281.34(10)(b) (b) Characterization of groundwater resources.
281.34(10)(c) (c) Strategies for managing water.
281.34 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. NR 820, Wis. adm. code.
281.34 Annotation Through ss. 281.11 and 281.12, the legislature has delegated the state's public trust duties to the DNR in the context of its regulation of high capacity wells and their potential effect on navigable waters. For all proposed high capacity wells, the legislature has expressly granted the DNR the authority and a general duty to review all permit applications and to decide whether to issue the permit, to issue the permit with conditions, or to deny the application, which provides the DNR with the discretion to undertake the review it deems necessary for all proposed high capacity wells, including the authority and a general duty to consider the environmental impact of a proposed high capacity well on waters of the state. Lake Beulah Management District v. DNR, 2011 WI 54, 335 Wis. 2d 47, 799 N.W.2d 73, 08-3170.
281.34 Annotation There is nothing in either s. 281.34 or 281.35 that limits the DNR's authority to consider the environmental impacts of a proposed high capacity well, nor is there any language in subchapter II of Wis. Stat. ch. 281 that requires the DNR to issue a permit for a well if the statutory requirements are met and no formal review or findings are required. There being no language expressly revoking or limiting the DNR's authority and general duty to protect and manage waters of the state, the DNR retains such authority and general duty to consider whether a proposed high capacity well may impact waters of the state. Lake Beulah Management District v. DNR, 2011 WI 54, 335 Wis. 2d 47, 799 N.W.2d 73, 08-3170.
281.34 Annotation The DNR is required to consider the environmental impact of a proposed high capacity well when presented with sufficient concrete, scientific evidence of potential harm to waters of the state. Upon what evidence, and under what circumstances, that duty is triggered is a highly fact-specific matter that depends upon the information submitted by the well owner in the well permit application and any other information submitted to the DNR decision makers. The DNR should use both its expertise in water resources management and its discretion to determine whether its duty as trustee of public trust resources is implicated by a proposed high capacity well permit application such that it has an obligation to consider environmental concerns. Lake Beulah Management District v. DNR, 2011 WI 54, 335 Wis. 2d 47, 799 N.W.2d 73, 08-3170.
281.34 Annotation Wisconsin's high capacity well regulatory structure set forth in this section, and related sections, does not explicitly require or explicitly permit monitoring wells or cumulative impact analysis as conditions for high capacity well permits. A monitoring well condition on a high capacity well permit is prohibited and unenforceable under s. 227.10 (2m). OAG 1-16.
281.34 Annotation Groundwater: Diminishing Resource, Increasing Conflict. Westerberg. Wis. Law. July/Aug. 2015.
281.343 281.343 Great Lakes — St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
281.343(1) (1)Legislative determination. The legislature determines that it is in the interests of this state to ratify the Great Lakes — St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. Nothing in this section may be interpreted to change the application of the public trust doctrine under article IX, section 1, of the Wisconsin Constitution or to create any new public trust rights.
281.343(1b) (1b)Ratification. The Great Lakes — St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, contained in subs. (1e) to (9), is ratified and approved, as implemented and interpreted in ss. 14.95, 281.346, and 281.348.
281.343(1e) (1e)Definitions. In this section, except as otherwise required by the context:
281.343(1e)(a) (a) “Adaptive management" means a water resources management system that provides a systematic process for evaluation, monitoring, and learning from the outcomes of operational programs and adjustment of policies, plans, and programs based on experience and the evolution of scientific knowledge concerning water resources and water dependent natural resources.
281.343(1e)(am) (am) “Agreement" means the Great Lakes — St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement.
281.343(1e)(b) (b) “Applicant" means a person who is required to submit a proposal that is subject to management and regulation under this compact. “Application" has a corresponding meaning.
281.343(1e)(c) (c) “Basin" or “Great Lakes — St. Lawrence River Basin" means the watershed of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River upstream from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec within the jurisdiction of the parties.
281.343(1e)(cm) (cm) “Basin ecosystem" or “Great Lakes — St. Lawrence River Basin ecosystem" means the interacting components of air, land, water, and living organisms, including humankind, within the basin.
281.343(1e)(d) (d) “Community within a straddling county" means any incorporated city, town, or the equivalent thereof, that is located outside the basin but wholly within a county that lies partly within the basin and that is not a straddling community.
281.343(1e)(dm) (dm) “Compact" means this compact.
281.343(1e)(e) (e) “Consumptive use" means that portion of the water withdrawn or withheld from the basin that is lost or otherwise not returned to the basin due to evaporation, incorporation into products, or other processes.
281.343(1e)(em) (em) “Council" means the Great Lakes — St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council, created by this compact.
281.343(1e)(f) (f) “Council review" means the collective review by the council members as described in subs. (4) to (4z).
281.343(1e)(fm) (fm) “County" means the largest territorial division for local government in a state. The county boundaries shall be defined as those boundaries that exist as of December 13, 2005.
281.343(1e)(g) (g) “Cumulative impacts" means the impact on the basin ecosystem that results from incremental effects of all aspects of a withdrawal, diversion, or consumptive use in addition to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future withdrawals, diversions, and consumptive uses regardless of who undertakes the other withdrawals, diversions, and consumptive uses. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant withdrawals, diversions, and consumptive uses taking place over a period of time.
281.343(1e)(gm) (gm) “Decision-making standard" means the decision-making standard established by sub. (4r) for proposals subject to management and regulation in sub. (4p).
281.343(1e)(h) (h) “Diversion" means a transfer of water from the basin into another watershed, or from the watershed of one of the Great Lakes into that of another by any means of transfer, including but not limited to a pipeline, canal, tunnel, aqueduct, channel, modification of the direction of a water course, a tanker ship, tanker truck, or rail tanker but does not apply to water that is used in the basin or a Great Lake watershed to manufacture or produce a product that is then transferred out of the basin or watershed. “Divert" has a corresponding meaning.
281.343(1e)(i) (i) “Environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures" mean those measures, methods, technologies, or practices for efficient water use and for reduction of water loss and waste or for reducing a withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion that are environmentally sound, reflect best practices applicable to the water use sector, are technically feasible and available, are economically feasible and cost-effective based on an analysis that considers direct and avoided economic and environmental costs, and consider the particular facilities and processes involved, taking into account the environmental impact, age of equipment and facilities involved, the processes employed, energy impacts, and other appropriate factors.
281.343(1e)(im) (im) “Exception" means a transfer of water that is excepted under sub. (4n) from the prohibition against diversions in sub. (4m).
281.343(1e)(j) (j) “Exception standard" means the standard for exceptions established in sub. (4n) (d).
281.343(1e)(jm) (jm) “Intrabasin transfer" means the transfer of water from the watershed of one of the Great Lakes into the watershed of another Great Lake.
281.343(1e)(k) (k) “Measures" means any legislation, law, regulation, directive, requirement, guideline, program, policy, administrative practice, or other procedure.
281.343(1e)(km) (km) “New or increased diversion" means a new diversion, an increase in an existing diversion, or the alteration of an existing withdrawal so that it becomes a diversion.
281.343(1e)(L) (L) “New or increased withdrawal or consumptive use" means a new withdrawal or consumptive use or an increase in an existing withdrawal or consumptive use.
281.343(1e)(Lm) (Lm) “Originating party" means the party within whose jurisdiction an application or registration is made or required.
281.343(1e)(n) (n) “Party" means a state that is a party to this compact.
281.343(1e)(nm) (nm) “Person" means a human being or a legal person, including a government or a nongovernmental organization, including any scientific, professional, business, nonprofit, or public interest organization or association that is neither affiliated with, nor under the direction of a government.
281.343(1e)(o)1.1. “Product" means something produced in the basin by human or mechanical effort or through agricultural processes and used in manufacturing, commercial, or other processes or intended for intermediate or end use consumers.
281.343(1e)(o)2. 2. Water used as part of the packaging of a product shall be considered to be part of the product.
281.343(1e)(o)3. 3. Other than water used as part of the packaging of a product, water that is used primarily to transport materials in or out of the basin is not a product or part of a product.
281.343(1e)(o)4. 4. Except as provided in subd. 2., water that is transferred as part of a public or private supply is not a product or part of a product.
281.343(1e)(o)5. 5. Water in its natural state such as in lakes, rivers, reservoirs, aquifers, or water basins is not a product.
281.343(1e)(om) (om) “Proposal" means a withdrawal, diversion, or consumptive use of water that is subject to this compact.
281.343(1e)(p) (p) “Province" means Ontario or Quebec.
281.343(1e)(pm) (pm) “Public water supply purposes" means water distributed to the public through a physically connected system of treatment, storage, and distribution facilities serving a group of largely residential customers that may also serve industrial, commercial, and other institutional operators. Water withdrawn directly from the basin and not through such a system shall not be considered to be used for public water supply purposes.
281.343(1e)(q) (q) “Regional body" means the members of the council and the premiers of Ontario and Quebec or their designee as established by the agreement.
281.343(1e)(qm) (qm) “Regional review" means the collective review by the regional body as described in sub. (4h).
281.343(1e)(r) (r) “Source watershed" means the watershed from which a withdrawal originates. If water is withdrawn directly from a Great Lake or from the St. Lawrence River, then the source watershed shall be considered to be the watershed of that Great Lake or the watershed of the St. Lawrence River, respectively. If water is withdrawn from the watershed of a stream that is a direct tributary to a Great Lake or a direct tributary to the St. Lawrence River, then the source watershed shall be considered to be the watershed of that Great Lake or the watershed of the St. Lawrence River, respectively, with a preference to the direct tributary stream watershed from which it was withdrawn.
281.343(1e)(rm) (rm) “Standard of review and decision" means the exception standard, decision-making standard, and reviews as outlined in subs. (4) to (4z).
281.343(1e)(s) (s) “State" means one of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, or Wisconsin or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
281.343(1e)(t) (t) “Straddling community" means any incorporated city, town, or the equivalent thereof, wholly within any county that lies partly or completely within the basin, whose corporate boundary existing as of the effective date of this compact is partly within the basin or partly within 2 Great Lakes watersheds.
281.343(1e)(u) (u) “Technical review" means a detailed review conducted to determine whether or not a proposal that requires regional review under this compact meets the standard of review and decision following procedures and guidelines as set out in this compact.
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 123 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before December 8, 2017. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after December 8, 2017 are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-8-17)