The Great Lakes Legal Foundation is a non-profit legal foundation providing legal and policy expertise to advance economic growth and increase job opportunities in the upper Midwest.
State policies imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens, increasing energy costs, or creating a hostile litigation climate make us less competitive as a state or region, both within and outside our national borders. Frequently, such policies are advanced by regulatory agencies operating outside of their statutory authority or the required administrative rulemaking procedures.
Our lawyers and staff are dedicated to assuring the Great Lakes states remain a competitive manufacturing region. To do so, we need balanced environmental, energy and civil litigation polices. Such policies will, in turn, benefit all our businesses and citizens through increased economic opportunities.
01/12/2017 - On Jan. 6, eight business associations asked a Dane County court for permission to intervene in litigation challenging Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) high capacity well permit program. Although the litigation is aimed at individual permit holders, if the relief requested by Clean Wisconsin is granted, the court decision could threaten the validity of hundreds of high capacity well permits issued under new DNR policies.
05/10/2016 - On May 10, 2016, Attorney General Brad Schimel issued a formal opinion finding that 2011 WI Act 21 requires explicit delegation of authorities to agencies, making it clear that regulatory mandates may no longer arise from implied authority. Whether enacting rules, imposing permit conditions, or exercising public trust authority, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other agencies must point to explicit statutory delegations or their actions are legally void and unenforceable.
- Great Lakes Legal Foundation Press Release on AG Opinion
- Speaker Vos Statement on AG opinion affirming legislative authority
- WMC: Attorney General Opinion Upholds Major Regulatory Reform
11/12/2015 – The Great Lakes Legal Foundation is pleased to announce that Judge McGinnis, of the Outagamie County Circuit Court, has ruled in favor of the petitioner and intervenors in New Chester Dairy v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources! The court held that under 2011 Act 21 the Department of Natural Resources lacked explicit authority to impose monitoring well requirements in high capacity well permits.
Update (11/13): Read our press release.
10/26/2015 – The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register on Friday, October 23. Twenty-four states, including Wisconsin, immediately filed a lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court challenging the Rule. You can read about the rule on the Foundation’s blog here.
Update: Read about the States’ motion for a stay here.
7/27/2015 – The Great Lakes Legal Foundation filed its Reply Brief in New Chester Dairy v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on behalf of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), Dairy Business Association (DBA), Midwest Food Processors Association, and Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association. For more information about the case click here.
4/6/2015 – The Great Lakes Legal Foundation filed its intervenors opening brief today in New Chester Dairy v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on behalf of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), Dairy Business Association (DBA), Midwest Food Processors Association, and Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association. The Great Lakes Legal Foundation is seeking to prevent the DNR from issuing permit conditions that are not explicitly allowed by statute or administrative rule.
New Chester Dairy also filed its opening brief in the case.
2/19/2015 – The Great Lakes Legal Foundation, on behalf of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), Dairy Business Association (DBA), Midwest Food Processors Association, and Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, filed a motion to intervene in a case (New Chester Dairy v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Clean Wisconsin) seeking to prevent the DNR from overstepping its regulatory authority. Stay informed about case.
Read the press release.