Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Walker inserting more corporate power at WI DNR

[Updated] Looks like Walker has dropped another of his surprise bombs, this time on the DNR, with what is essentially a department reorganization and split to favor business after losing his budget effort to delete the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, the DNR's citizen oversight panel.

Further embedding the "chamber of commerce mentality" he said he wanted running the DNR.

Today I am hearing that Walker is eliminating the historically-important DNR water division and assigning its work to the current air division chief Pat Stevens, formerly of the Wisconsin  Manufacturers & Commerce (and the builders and, separately, road-builders associations), so he can control a new, super-resources, business-services division that absorbs water planning and conservation.

For easier obeisance to polluters - - put a corporate ideologue in charge of fewer employees - - thus streamlining policy implementation from the top-down, DNR documents show:
Another Walker blow to science, citizen input and public-interest activities as he leaves behind scorched earth in the state.

Imagine how the DNR would have 'regulated' the massive open-pit iron mine in water-rich NW Wisconsin, had not the plan collapsed internally and in the face of opposition from the feds, the Bad River band and environmentalists statewide.

And the DNR's remake as a defacto Commerce Department dovetails with Walker's discussion yesterday of ending much US EPA oversight if he were President.

Later this afternoon, the Journal Sentinel posted this story:

Some hot-button topics would be placed in a separate unit known as “business support and external services.” Those includes zoning near shorelines, dam safety, wetlands protection and runoff pollution, including runoff from farms. | 4:38 p.m.



10 comments:

old baldy said...

There are a lot more functions in the Water Division than planning and conservation; WPDES, Drinking and Groundwater, Shoreland and Floodplain, etc. Any word on those,or will they all be under Stevens thumb?

Anonymous said...

That is correct. Cafos, stormwater, wetlands, waterways and so on now to "Business Support Division". Water division eliminated. Top staff reassigned. The purge of any environmental function continues. Chaos and confusion reigns among employees left.

Anonymous said...

WPDES are under Aquino in business services. I forget his first name. Other regulatory programs like Drinking Water and Remediation and Redevelopment are under Stevens. Russ Rasmussen is now working for the Secretary's office on special projects. It looks like they may split the DNR into 2 agencies as natural resources are separate from regulatory programs.

Anonymous said...

Well, this should kill Waukesha's Lake Michigan application with the other states.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious that they put in a trend line.

Gma Sue said...

Infuriating. Simply infuriating. I cannot believe that the people of this state would choose this. Sneaky, dishonest leadership.

Anonymous said...

Oh what fresh hell is this? When will Wisconsin realize the damage done to a once proud agency by this gang of pirates and vandals. There is a special place in hell for Stepp and the traitors helping her to strip DNR down to a pile of bones bleaching in the hot sun. We will remember!

Denny said...

Denny writes.....

Take note of DNR secretary Cathy Stepp's remark to the Journal Sentinel: "Here's the cold hard truth: The Legislature runs things." While this is in part chicanery (hiding the influence of her boss), it is true that the Legislature is taking over environmental policy, and not only from the agency, but from the courts. The bright side of this dark reality is that the Legislature is supposed to be accountable to voters. We can only hope voters understand what is going on. Beating up on the DNR is an increasingly misplaced exercise.

Anonymous said...

For Walker's WEDC WELFARE QUEENS!

Joshua Skolnick said...

Why don't the Koch Brothers, Bradley Foundation and the greedheads at WMC dispense with the pretense, dissolve all government, and run everything directly? I don't think it would make a difference from the results we are getting now. The only difference is that now they are getting other people (taxpayers) to foot the bill for their defacto employees Scott Walker and in the legislature.