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Legislature set to pass well water bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Legislature is set to give final approval to a bill relaxing regulations on high-capacity wells.

The issue has pitted conservationists and lake property owners concerned about depleted water levels against farmers and Republicans who control the Legislature who argue the high capacity wells are needed.

The state Assembly was scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal that would exempt well repairs, replacement, reconstruction and ownership transfers from Department of Natural Resources oversight. The measure also would require the DNR to study lakes and streams in the central sands region to determine whether special measures are needed to protect ground and surface water from depletion.

Opponents argue that high-capacity wells are draining lakes and streams in the central sands. They say the bill will protect problem wells forever.

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