Lake Beulah Management District v. DNRAnnotate this Case
After the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued a permit to the village of East Troy to construct a municipal well, two conservancies challenged the DNR's decision to issue the permit without considering the well's potential impact on nearby Lake Beulah. The circuit court denied the petition for review, concluding that the DNR did not violate its obligations by issuing the permit because there was no evidence that the well would harm Lake Beulah. On appeal, the court of appeals held that (1) the DNR has the duty to consider the environmental impact of a proposed high capacity well if presented with sufficient scientific evidence suggesting potential harm to waters of the state, and (2) the DNR was presented with such evidence in this case. Therefore, the court remanded the case to the circuit court with directions to remand to the DNR. The Supreme Court affirmed the first part of the appellate court decision but reversed the second part, holding that, based on the record, the DNR was not presented with sufficient concrete, scientific evidence of the well's potential harm to waters of the state. Thus, the Court affirmed the DNR's decision to issue the permit.