Let's hope that the horrifying oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - - and probably extended by currents into the Atlantic Ocean - - forces regulators, businesses and individuals to be far more mindful of threats to the environment right here in Wisconsin.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
For example, if the Murphy Oil refinery expansion returns as a possibility in Superior abutting wetlands close to Lake Superior, let's make sure that local, state and federal regulators keep environmental protections at the top of their agendas.
Likewise with the City of Waukesha's probable proposal to discharge, on average, about 11 million gallons of treated wastewater into Underwood Creek in Wauwatosa.
Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources has to go beyond news releases and review that plan with the highest degree of expertise, and, again, with the integrity of the Creek, and Menomonee River downstream as priority one.
But...Wisconsin and Milwaukee are making progress.
The KK River cleanup is a great program.
Milwaukee's Central Park along the Milwaukee River is moving forward. You can track these and other successes at Milwaukee Riverkeeper's website.
But there have been losses.
Wauwatosa, the Milwaukee County Board and UWM have jointly agreed to rip up and pave over part of the County Grounds.
Highway expansion routinely takes open space and wetlands.
So it's a fight, every day, and officials charged by law to protect the land and water and air must constantly be pressure to do their jobs in favor of the public and the common benefit.