The Journal Sentinel's editorial board took a look at the drop-off in Wisconsin DNR pollution enforcement actions and says it isn't necessarily a cause for concern.
[A version of this posting ran yesterday here at The Political Environment.]
As of 2010, pollution from livestock operations of all sizes has left more than 4,000 acres of lakes and 377 miles of rivers and creeks too polluted to sustain their designated uses of swimming, fishing, or providing a healthy habitat for aquatic plants and animals in Wisconsin.
Furthermore, does the editorial board take comfort knowing the Legislature is moving towards giving known phosphorus polluters a 20-year extension to finish water cleanup actions that were supposed to be dealt with though a plan in place negotiated among stakeholders that had won federal EPA approval?
"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. [11/29/66]
Where is the paper's strong defense of the Public Trust Doctrine, which is not only embedded in the State Constitution as Article IX but has been guiding water rights and responsibilities pro-actively since the Northwest Ordinance of 1787?
A pipeline run by the same company expanding operations in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin's Gaylord Nelson gave Earth Day its start; Wisconsin as a whole these days needs and deserves stronger, focused environmental watchdog advocacy.