Current Legal Actions

Current Legal Actions

As a citizen organization, an important function of CWAC is to take legal actions on behalf of our members to protect human health and the environment. Because individual members may not have the resources to file a legal action, the CWAC board believes this is an important part of our mission as an organization. Here are some current legal actions. Email us at to be placed on our CWAC Weekly Update email list for updates on these legal actions.

Citizen Petition for Corrective Action or Withdrawal of NPDES Program Delegation from the State of Wisconsin, filed with the EPA October 20, 2015.

Two CWAC board members, Dean Hoegger and Jim Wagner, joined 14 other citizens from across the state as signers on an action to enforce provisions of the federal Clean Water Act or have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdraw the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program delegation from the state of Wisconsin. The petitioners asked for written response from the EPA within 30 days of the October 20, 2015 filing. They also asked both the DNR and the EPA to work with the petitioners and interested members of the public to promptly start meetings and other collaborative efforts to bring the DNR’s water pollution permitting program into compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Please see the CWAC Weekly Update by email in the coming weeks and months for notices of public meetings and the progress with this action. Please note in the legal action described below (SDWA), that it took the DNR seven months to set a date for the initial meeting with the petitioners. Therefore, once again, it may be months before we have meeting dates to report. See the full petition and supporting documents at:

Efforts to protect the waters of Kewaunee County continue:
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Petition Filed with EPA October 22, 2014

After a delay of seven months, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource officials began holding meetings of workgroups that they formed in response to the Petition for Emergency Action filed with the EPA on October 22, 2014. At that time, CWAC joined five other citizen groups detailing the need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to exercise its emergency powers under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Thus far, the “Short term solutions to get clean drinking water,” “Areas susceptible to groundwater contamination / Best Management Practices,” and “Compliance” workgroups have met several times and are finalizing recommendations in mid-December. CWAC is a voting member of the “Compliance Workgroup.”

What became clear in these meetings is that the DNR has not always acted within its authority and where authority was lacking, it appeared to be an encumbering legislative process to make even minor administrative code changes that could provide immediate ground water protection with minimal economic impact.

For instance, current code allows for waste from septic and holding tanks to be spread on farm fields, either by direct spreading, or by dumping waste into liquid manure storage pits, which is then spread under the category as crop nutrient. This is one of the code changes we are urging be included in the Compliance Group recommendations for immediate actions.

The petition and supporting documents can be found at:

© Clean Water Action Council

P.O. Box 9144

Green Bay, WI 54308

(920) 421-8885

Office location:
A307 MAC Hall, UW-Green Bay
2420 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, WI 54311