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8:00 – 8:30 am CDT
Morning Session
8:30 am – 12:35 pm CDT
12:35 – 1:35 pm CDT
Afternoon Session
1:35 – 4:00 pm CDT

WDNR’s High-Capacity Well Application and Approval Process                     A. Freihoefer

What is a high capacity well?
Requirements for submitting a high capacity well application
Review criteria for proposed high capacity wells
Approval language and requirements
Participating in administrative hearings
Appealing decisions
Grounds for rescinding or modifying approval
Case studies and DNR research
Types of applications across Wisconsin
Central Sands Lakes study

Limits on Use of High Capacity Wells Under Wisconsin Law                     M. Frank
Evolution of the Public Trust Doctrine
Common law and reasonable use of groundwater
History of legislative regulation of groundwater withdrawals
Overview of current statutes and administrative rule provisions
relating to high capacity wells
Enforcement and penalties

High Capacity Wells and the Impact                              E. Feinauer
of Groundwater Withdrawals                                             G. Kraft
Basic facts: What are high capacity wells? How many are there in Wisconsin?
Where? How much water do they use? Who uses them?
Impacts of high capacity well use
Legal issues involving high capacity wells

Impact of Groundwater Extraction                                    E. Feinauer
on Groundwater and Surface Water Hydrology            G. Kraft
Groundwater basics – how groundwater fits into the water cycle Wisconsin’s aquifers
Pumping impacts on water resources
Pumping in Wisconsin – who uses groundwater and where?
Case study: Wisconsin’s Central Sands
Other case law/studies
Possible outcomes/impacts

Webinar Instructions

All attendees must log-on through their own email – attendees may not watch together if they wish to earn continuing education credit. HalfMoon Education Inc. must be able to prove attendance if either the attendee or HalfMoon Education Inc. is audited.

Certificates of completion can be downloaded in PDF form upon passing a short quiz. A link to the quiz will be sent to each qualifying attendee immediately after the webinar. The certificate can be downloaded from the Results page of the quiz upon scoring 80% or higher.

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Wisconsin Attorneys
6.0 CLE Hours

Wisconsin Engineers
6.0 PDHs

Wisconsin Geologists &
Non-Credit Continuing Ed.

Continuing Education Credit Information

This webinar is open to the public. The Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners has approved this course for 6.0 CLE hours for attorneys (0.0 EPR/GALm/GALa/GALf/LAU/LPM).

This webinar offers 6.0 PDHs to Wisconsin engineers to whom the subject matter is professionally relevant. Educators and courses are not subject to preapproval in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin engineers with continuing education requirements in other states will be able to claim the hours from this seminar, in most cases. Refer to specific state rules to determine eligibility, or contact HalfMoon Education for assistance.

This webinar extends a continuing education opportunity to Wisconsin geologists and hydrologists. Continuing education is not required at this time in Wisconsin.

Completion certificates will be awarded to participants who complete this event, respond to all prompts, and earn a passing score (80%) on the quiz that follows the presentation (multiple attempts allowed).


Evan Feinauer

Staff Attorney for Clean Wisconsin
Mr. Feinauer is Staff Attorney for Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy nonprofit located in Madison, Wisconsin. His work focuses on water issues across Wisconsin. Working with Clean Wisconsin’s partners, Mr. Feinauer litigated a pair of cases that were recently argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court concerning groundwater quantity issues caused by the proliferation of high-capacity wells in the Central Sands and polluted farm runoff from a large dairy farm in Kewaunee County. Mr. Feinauer also successfully challenged a wetland fill permit the Department of Natural Resources issued for the construction of a frac sand facility, protecting over 16 acres of rare, pristine wetlands in Monroe County. He also supports Clean Wisconsin’s lobbyists and policy experts in their work advocating for strong legislation, administrative rules, and agency decision-making to protect Wisconsin’s waters. Before joining Clean Wisconsin, Mr. Feinauer worked as a Litigation Fellow with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). At NRDC, he helped litigate a Safe Drinking Water Act citizen suit responding to the Flint water crisis in federal district court in Detroit, MI. Mr. Feinauer holds a B.A. degree in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.S. degree in Ethics and Public Policy from Suffolk University, and a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Matthew Frank

Murphy Desmond Lawyers S.C.

Attorney with Murphy Desmond S.C.
Attorney Frank’s practice focuses on environmental and energy law. He is also chair of the firm’s Business and Real Estate Practice Group. He provides experienced counsel to businesses, start-ups, municipalities, utilities, organizations and individuals in a wide range of environmental and energy matters, helping clients successfully navigate regulatory and legal challenges. Mr. Frank is a former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and assistant attorney general with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ). During his tenure as DNR secretary from 2007 through 2010, he oversaw the DNR’s regulatory and permitting programs, including air and water quality, waste and recycling, wetlands, groundwater, environmental clean-ups and brownfields restoration. Mr. Frank worked closely with businesses and communities on sustainability initiatives such as the Green Tier program and the Green Tier Legacy Communities Charter. He also worked closely on environmental and natural resource issues with officials in the Environmental Protection Agency, other federal agencies, states across the country, and Wisconsin tribal and local governments. Murphy Desmond has offices in Madison, Appleton, Janesville and Dodgeville.

Adam Freihoefer

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Mr. Freihoefer currently works as a groundwater hydrologist within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (WDNR) Bureau of Drinking and Groundwater in Madison, Wisconsin where he employs various analytical and numeric hydrologic analyses to evaluate the impact of high capacity wells to Wisconsin’s waters. In conjunction with his current position, he has accrued 12 years of experience in areas related to water quantity and quality regulatory policy, surface water hydrology, water quality monitoring, surface and groundwater numeric modeling, and GIS. Mr. Freihoefer obtained his B.S. (Hydrogeology) and M.S. (Water Resources) degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. His M.S. degree research improved approaches to calibrate watershed-scale process models for simulating hydrology, sediment,and nutrient transport with field-scale monitoring data. Mr. Freihoefer previously served as a water quality modeler for the WDNR’s Bureau of Water Quality where he coordinated and implemented the technical aspects of water quality analysis and numeric modeling for the successful development of watershed improvement projects throughout Wisconsin.

George Kraft

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Mr. Kraft is a Professor of Water Resources and director of the Center for Watershed Science and Education. He holds appointments with both the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin – Extension. His work centers around groundwater sustainability for quantity and quality. Of late, most of his work has concerned groundwater pumping impacts on surface water, combining research, outreach, and policy concerns. Dr. Kraft’s research interests revolve about questions of water resource sustainability, particularly about profitable agriculture and water impacts.