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Supreme Court: DNR lacked authority to amend pier permit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Supreme Court says the Department of Natural Resources was acting beyond its authority when it forced a couple to modify their massive pier on Madeline Island.

The DNR granted Terrie and Philip Myers a permit in 2001 to build a 70-foot pier. Later, the agency received complaints, in 2012 and 2013, that the pier was contributing to shoreline erosion.

The DNR amended the Myers’ permit in 2015 to require pier modifications, arguing a permit of that sort governs ongoing maintenance even after a pier is completed.

The Supreme Court rejected the DNR’s stance on Friday, ruling 6-1 that the DNR had lost the authority to make modifications after the permit expired in 2004.

A spokeswoman for the state Justice Department, which defended the DNR in the case, didn’t immediately respond to an email.

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