In a case that could have ramifications for expanding dairies across the country, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a rural town cannot impose tougher water-quality standards than the state requires.

The Court issued the ruling Wednesday in a case involving Larson Acres, a dairy in southern Wisconsin that expanded in recent years to about 2,900 cows, according to this article by The Associated Press.

In granting the expansion, the community of Magnolia set some additional conditions for the farm.  

The farm sued, arguing that pollution-control measures are laid out by the state and can’t be modified by individual towns, the article said.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed with that contention.

Dairy Business Association, a group representing dairy producers, cheese-makers and allied industry in Wisconsin, praised the ruling.

"We are thrilled the Supreme Court upheld the Siting law. This law is the cornerstone piece of legislation that has allowed the dairy industry and all of agriculture in Wisconsin to grow and prosper,” said Laurie Fischer, executive director of the Dairy Business Association. 

"This law is critical to the growth and modernization of the dairy industry as well as the protection of our environment. It provides predictability in what formerly was an extremely unpredictable process to site a new dairy facility. It also provides a consistent regulatory framework for farmers to meet strict, scientifically based environmental regulations.

"DBA was a strong proponent for siting legislation when it passed both the Senate and Assembly and was signed by then Governor Doyle in 2004. We are pleased the law withstood this challenge and our $26.5 billion dairy industry can continue to grow and prosper while protecting our natural resources,” Fischer said.