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Judge: Wisconsin improperly gave up authority to dairy group

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge has restored Wisconsin’s authority to protect water quality after ruling it was improperly given up in a settlement with a dairy-industry group.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that a Milwaukee County judge decided last week to restore the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ authority to enforce water-quality standards by requiring big dairy farms to not leak pollutants into public waters.

The agency had been pushing for improvements to feed warehouse and areas where calves are kept, but ended such efforts in a 2017 settlement with the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association.

Rain can pose health hazards when it carries nutrients and pollutants from soil, manure and animal feed into lakes and streams.

A DNR spokesman declined to comment.

An attorney representing conservation groups says the decision was a victory for clean water and transparency.

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