Court asked to rule on ag regulatory powers

Wisconsin appeals court judges have asked the state Supreme Court to decide several lawsuits that will determine how much power state regulators have to protect rivers and lakes from manure runoff and farm operations in general, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.

At issue is a 2011 state law that restricts the authority of state agencies from placing certain constraints on agricultural and other businesses.

As farms have increased in size, manure runoff and other pollutants have impacted the condition of lakes and streams, and the aquatic life within, throughout the state.