Environmental Protection Unit


The Environmental Protection Unit enforces state environmental laws by prosecuting violations referred to the Attorney General by environmental regulatory agencies or requested by district attorneys. Most environmental violations are referred by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Fish and game laws generally are enforced by local district attorneys, who also enforce some environmental laws referred by the DNR. The unit enforces the laws relating to: 


  • air pollution
  • solid and hazardous waste
  • wastewater
  • hazardous substance spills
  • water supply
  • water regulation and zoning
  • underground storage tanks
  • Superfund
  • water pollution
  • public nuisance
  • natural resource protection
  • radioactive waste
  • land use
  • public trust in navigable waters 


The unit defends the state and state agencies in:


  • environmental or natural resource related lawsuits
  • litigation on environmental matters related to Indian law

The unit also represents the state’s interests in federal environmental cases upon authorization from the governor. 


Report spills, leaks or potentially illegal activity to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources or to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Related Links



Department of Natural Resources

Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection

Department of Safety and Professional Services



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Laws & Regulations

EPA Region 5 (serving Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and 35 tribes)



Environmental Law Teachers' Clearinghouse

Legal Information Institute


Environmental Protection Unit Contact Information

(608) 264-9442

Environmental Protection Unit

Wisconsin Department of Justice

17 W. Main St.

P.O. Box 7857

Madison, WI 53707-7857



Wisconsin law does not authorize the Attorney General and employees of the Department of Justice to provide legal advice to private individuals. If you need legal advice or representation you may want to contact a private attorney. The State Bar of Wisconsin Lawyer Referral and Information Service can help you determine if you need a lawyer, and how to proceed if you do.