Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WI Legislature Destroying Basic Water Preservation

It is hard to keep up with the policy depredation emerging daily from Gov. Walker, the GOP-run, WMC-compliant legislature and their coordinated disregard for public resources.

But ramming through without a hearing or even a nod of the head to basic science by detaching high-capacity well approvals from their cumulative impacts is a total wipe out of the state constitution's Public Trust Doctrine protecting state waters managed according to state law and Supreme Court precedents in the public interest.

As the DNR itself still explains on its Public Trust Doctrine website:

Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine requires the state to intervene to protect public rights in the commercial or recreational use of navigable waters. The DNR, as the state agent charged with this responsibility, can do so through permitting requirements for water projects, through court action to stop nuisances in navigable waters, and through statutes authorizing local zoning ordinances that limit development along navigable waterways. 
The court has ruled that DNR staff, when they review projects that could impact Wisconsin lakes and rivers, must consider the cumulative impacts of individual projects in their decisions. "A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin State Supreme Court justices in their opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC.(2) 
Sources: (1) Quick, John. 1994. The Public Trust Doctrine in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1. (2) "Champions of the Public Trust, A History of Water Use in Wisconsin" study guide. 1995. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Water Regulation and Zoning. Champions of the Public Trust [PDF].
Total insanity.

Details from WisPolitics, here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

 7:09 PM 

JFC approves high-capacity well motion, adjourns


Anonymous said...

Just a brief item for your amusement re: rent-to-own businesses that "don't need oversight"

Anonymous said...

Can these venal legislators and agencies be brought up on charges of malfeasance?

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Regional Planning Commission is this part of the state?

A new statistic must be playing into population trends - 4000 more dairy cows need water.

JB said...

One would love to charge malfeasance -- but who would bring charges? Not the current Attorney General, although he would be the logical person in a less disordered world. No, in Fitzwalkerstan, it seems nothing is beyond the pale.

Anonymous said...

I think the law might be unclear about how the public trust doctrine applies to groundwater.