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Contact information
For information on WPDES permitting for Richfield Dairy, contact:
Casey Jones
For information on high capacity wells at Richfield Dairy and associated WEPA compliance, contact:
Rachel Greve

Richfield Dairy

WPDES permit modification

The department issued a water quality protection (WPDES) permit for Richfield Dairy on November 3, 2011. The WPDES permit was the subject of a contested case hearing. The contested case hearing on the WPDES permit was held on June 28 and August 19-22, 2013. The WPDES permit was approved, with modifications, by an administrative law judge (ALJ) on September 3, 2014. The department is in the process of modifying portions of the WPDES permit to reflect the ALJ’s decision. The public comment period for the proposed WPDES permit modifications will end July 17, 2015.

Date Document
June 17, 2015 WPDES public notices (proposed Richfield Dairy WPDES permit modifications)
September 3, 2014 Administrative Law Judge Decision [PDF]
November 3, 2011 Notice of final determination for WPDES permit [PDF]
November 3, 2011 Final WPDES permit [PDF]
November 3, 2011 Permit changes and response to comments [PDF]

High capacity well approvals

The department issued a high capacity well approval for Richfield Dairy on November 3, 2011. In March 2013, the department issued a modified high capacity well approval. The March 2013 approval was the subject of a contested case hearing. The hearing was held on June 24-27 and December 16-20, 2013. The high capacity well approval was upheld, with an amended maximum groundwater withdrawal amount, by an administrative law judge (ALJ) on September 3, 2014. A second modified high capacity well approval was issued on March 12, 2015, in accordance with the ALJ’s decision.

Date Document
March 12, 2015 Second modified conditional high capacity well approval for two potable wells to be located in the Town of Richfield, Adams County [PDF]
March 13, 2013 Modified High Capacity Well Approval [PDF]
July 27, 2012 SSPA groundwater modeling results and evaluation [PDF]
November 3, 2011 Original High capacity well approval [PDF]

Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA) compliance

In November 2011, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed Richfield Dairy facility pursuant to the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA), s. 1.11 Stats., and ch. NR 150, Wis. Adm. Code. Following a legal challenge, and in response to the Circuit Court’s decision, the department prepared a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) on March 12, 2013. The SEA included additional factual investigation to allow a reasonably informed preliminary judgment about the environmental effects of the high capacity wells operating at 72.5 million gallons per year (MGY), which is the rate requested by the Richfield Dairy in a revised high capacity well approval application.

The Circuit Court had concluded that DNR’s original EA and addendum evinced “sufficient consideration of the cumulative effects of the high capacity wells.” The parties that sought judicial review of the EA appealed that portion of the court’s ruling. The Court of Appeals, District IV, issued its decision on December 19, 2013 (2012AP1882). The Court of Appeals reversed the part of the Circuit Court’s decision that concluded that DNR properly considered cumulative impacts and remanded the case, directing DNR to consider the cumulative effects of the two high capacity wells in conjunction with other high capacity wells. On March 26, 2014, pursuant to the Court of Appeals decision, the Dane County Circuit Court issued a Supplemental Remand Order, directing DNR to consider the cumulative effects of the two high capacity wells, consistent with the Court of Appeals decision.

The department decided, pursuant to s. NR 150.20(4)(b), Wis. Adm. Code, and s. NR 150.22(1)(f), Wis. Adm. Code (2013), to follow the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) procedures as the best approach to achieve WEPA compliance and to satisfy the Circuit Court’s Supplemental Remand Order.

Final Environmental Impact Statement

The Final EIS issued on April 23, 2015, considered the environmental effects of the two proposed Richfield Dairy high capacity wells, in conjunction with other high capacity wells in the region.

Last revised: Thursday June 18 2015