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Kewaunee County residents join legal action to hold Kinnard Farms accountable

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Madison, WI—Following a critical Wisconsin Supreme Court victory last year, MEA is working with Kewaunee County residents to ensure that the Court’s decision leads to lasting improvements in the quality of the community’s drinking water. The July 2021 decision affirmed the authority of the Department of Natural Resources to protect Wisconsin water resources from manure pollution.  

In response to the ruling, the DNR modified a wastewater permit for Kinnard Farms, one of Wisconsin’s largest concentrated animal feeding operations. The modified permit includes conditions that limit the farm’s ability to expand beyond its current size and require its owners to monitor groundwater quality in areas where large amounts of manure are spread. 

Unfortunately, Kinnard Farms continues to use the legal system to delay their neighbors’ access to clean water. In April, Kinnard filed a legal challenge over the terms of the modified permit.

Having lost the battle over the state’s broad authority to protect Wisconsin water resources, Kinnard now argues that the specific permit conditions limiting herd size and requiring groundwater monitoring are “unnecessary, unreasonable and not supported by an adequate factual basis.” That claim stands in stark contrast to the scientific findings presented by experts in the original case.

MEA attorney Adam Voskuil appeared at a September 9 hearing and asked that a group of Kewaunee County residents represented by MEA be allowed to intervene in the lawsuit. Our request to intervene has been granted, and we are confident that the permit conditions will be upheld.

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