Our Legal Work

For more than four decades, Clean Wisconsin has protected our natural resources and the places that make Wisconsin a wonderful place to live, work and play through strong and effective legal actions.

Legacy of victory

Starting in the 1970s, Clean Wisconsin brought several foundational lawsuits that established the state’s cornerstone environmental law, Wisconsin’s Environmental Policy Act (WEPA). WEPA requires decision-makers to consider the full spectrum of environmental impacts before issuing permits for a proposed project or before it instituting a new policy that would affect our natural resources. Over the last 44 years, we have sued both polluters and state agencies to bring justice where an environmental wrong has occurred. Read more about our victories here.

Strong, expert backing

Achieving victories for Wisconsin’s environment requires strategic advice and assistance from experienced members of Wisconsin’s legal community. To that end, we’ve established our Legal Advisory Council, which includes practicing and retired lawyers with extensive subject matter and legal expertise, including mining, energy, air, water, solid waste and Native American Law, and more.

Some highlights of our current work:

Defending our Groundwater in the Central Sands

As high-capacity well withdrawal approvals have increased by 40% over the last three years, more and more communities, especially in the Central Sands, are seeing the impacts of water scarcity. Clean Wisconsin is engaged in a lawsuit to defend DNR’s authority to regulate against industry interests that seek unbridled use of this resource. Read more about our lawsuit here.


Protecting our Wetlands

While the DNR granted a wetland fill permit to an out-of-state frac sand company, Clean Wisconsin filed a challenge to the permit, arguing that destroying this pristine wetland would open the door to development of similar large-scale filling and permanent destruction of rare wetlands. Read more about our challenge here.