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Wisconsin kills pier rules

A legislative committee in Wisconsin has halted Department of Natural Resources emergency regulations that imposed strict limitations on docks and piers, according to a published report.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules took the action after six hours of testimony from a standing-room-only crowd in Minocqua June 24, according to the report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The newspaper said the rules set strict standards for piers on the state’s lakes and rivers, requiring that none be wider than 6 feet or extend beyond the 3-foot water-depth level. Some people reportedly were concerned about what the rules meant for their existing docks and piers, the report indicated.

“There are 2,600 lakes in my district, and the horror stories are all too common,” the Journal Sentinel quoted State Rep. Dan Meyer as saying. “If someone builds a home or a pier and it’s legal when they build it, then it should remain legal, even if some bureaucrat wants to change the rules somewhere down the line.”

The committee action suspends the DNR rules until a permanent set of regulations is developed later in the year, the Journal Sentinel reported.