March 28, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 87


March 27, 2023

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Bench Order Allows DNR to Temporarily Proceed with PFAS Initiative, with Limits

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce’s (WMC’s) legal challenge against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR’s) implementation of its Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) initiative continues. On April 1, 2021, Judge William Hue of the Jefferson County Circuit Court (the Court) issued a bench order allowing DNR to continue its PFAS sampling and analysis, but restricting public dissemination of PFAS laboratory results. This order reversed, in part, the Court’s March 29, 2021, temporary restraining order (TRO) that prohibited DNR from implementing the PFAS sampling program. That decision was based on the complaint and pleadings filed by WMC against DNR on March 30, 2021.

Judge Hue’s bench order provides that DNR may resume the PFAS sampling program. However, it upholds elements of the earlier TRO, including preventing DNR from public distribution of information generated by the PFAS sampling program, including testing results from any existing sampling, analytical data, as well as names of permit holders that allowed DNR to collect samples for analysis.

The Court has set a hearing to be held on April 12, 2021, to consider and rule on WMC’s request to have the Court issue an injunction that further blocks DNR’s PFAS sampling program. It is likely that both WMC and DNR will ask the Court to revisit the April 1, 2021, bench order at the upcoming hearing.

Copyright © 2023 Godfrey & Kahn S.C.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 95

About this Author

Daniel Narvey Litgation Attorney Godfrey Kahn Law Firm

Daniel Narvey is an associate in the Milwaukee office and a member of the firm's Litigation Practice Group.

During law school, Daniel worked on litigation and policy matters for the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, served as an intern with the Federal Public Defender of the Eastern District of North Carolina, and worked as a law clerk at the Cook County Public Defender in Chicago. Daniel also served as Senior Lead Editor for the Alaska Law Review.

Prior to law school, Daniel worked for Epic Systems...

Edward Witte Environmental lawyer Godfrey Kahn

Ned Witte is a shareholder in the Environmental Strategies Practice Group. He represents clients in the service and manufacturing industries as well as government bodies in a wide range of environmental matters across the United States, including Wisconsin.

In September of 2015, Ned Witte was named the 2016 Best Lawyers®Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Milwaukee. Attorneys honored as “Lawyers of the Year” have received particularly high ratings for their abilities, professionalism and integrity based on exhaustive peer-review surveys. Ned has...