After the Senate passed SB 239 on March 15, a slightly different version of the high capacity well bill than the Assembly passed on their last day (AB 874), Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) is urging the Assembly to meet again to take up this important legislation.
"The Senate passed an improved version of the high capacity well bill today to renew certainty and bring clarity to existing well owners and farmers," Lasee said.
Senator Lasee is the Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy which had previously been working on the issues surrounding high capacity wells with a more comprehensive bill. That bill stalled in the committee and has been replaced with a more limited bill.
"I have fought for a many years to fix this on-going problem facing our farmers, businesses, and municipalities. The DNR and the courts have thrown the nation's dairy land into a dangerous state of uncertainty," Lasee said.
As it stands, current well owners are not able to repair broken wells, sell their farms to new owners, or replace a damaged well with a new one.
"We're not talking about new wells here. These are wells that have already been permitted by the DNR," Lasee said.
The DePere Senator applauded the actions of his colleagues, saying the Senate did the "right thing".
"We passed a good bill which addresses the issue in a more limited way and is fair to all stakeholders. I am hopeful that my Assembly colleagues will come back to work and make this bill law," Lasee said. "If we go another session of inaction on this issue, our dairy industry will remain suspended in peril and our state's biggest economic drivers will stagnate instead of creating more and better-paying jobs."