Republican lawmaker wants to allow well changes without DNR approval

MADISON — A Republican legislator is pushing a bill that would ensure high-capacity well owners could replace, repair or sell their wells without state approval.

The bill's main author, Sen. Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac, says the bill is a reaction to an administrative law judge's ruling last year requiring the Department of Natural Resources to consider the cumulative effects of high-capacity wells on groundwater.

He says the bill ensures that the DNR can't apply that new standard to approved wells.

Under the bill, a well owner who wants to replace, reconstruct or transfer ownership of a well would have to notify the DNR but wouldn't need approval.

The League of Conservation Voters opposes the bill. The league says the measure would ensure well approvals never get reviewed.