In a 4-1 decision — with two liberal justices,
The conservative majority —
As part of the project, the company needed a conditional-use permit to build a pumping station, which
But state lawmakers intervened on behalf of the company, passing a law that banned counties from requiring special insurance if an interstate pipeline operator carries comprehensive general liability insurance that includes coverage for “sudden and accidental pollution liability.”
The county ultimately kept the insurance conditions, but added language signaling that the law made them unenforceable.
The case has been tied up in the courts ever since, with
“The Zoning Committee had authority to attach conditions to the (permit) to ensure compliance with
The county has an obligation to ensure its standards are met and the authority to include conditions, the court wrote, but neither preclude a judge from striking unlawful conditions.
The court also rejected the landowners’ argument that
“We decline to add words to the statute, as the Landowner’s argument would necessitate,” the court stated.
The 42-inch pipe went into operation in 2009 and is one of three
The county’s Zoning and Land Regulations committee granted the permit but said
The county ultimately kept the insurance language, which
While the expansion work is completed, upstream permitting delays have so far limited the flow to about 990,000 barrels per day.
Earlier this month a
“The Waterloo pump station is critical infrastructure for the state of
“It is inconceivable that the legislature did not intend to impose an ongoing insurance requirement on pipeline operators,” Gault said. “
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which filed a court brief siding with
“Businesses need to be able to operate in
(c)2019 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)
Visit The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) at www.wisconsinstatejournal.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.