- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Conservationists and farmers are set to clash at a hearing on a new bill that would relax high-capacity well regulations.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has introduced a bill that would allow well repairs, replacement, reconstruction or transfer ownership without state oversight. The measure also would require the Department of Natural Resources to evaluate water bodies in the state’s central sands region to determine if special measures are needed to protect stream or lake levels and allow lake associations to sink new high-capacity wells to replenish lakes.

Conservationists say the bill endangers Wisconsin waters. Farmers say the measure is reasonable and will provide regulatory certainty.

The two sides are expected to lay out their arguments during a joint hearing Wednesday of the Senate labor and Assembly agriculture committees.

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