Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wisconsin again leads news of failed water stewardship

[Updated, 11/28/15, 12:45 p.m.]

As I've been writing and noting, Wisconsin's intentionally dismissive approach to water quality and management is drawing media attention, via the website Circle of Blue:
After years of watching their state do little to address stormwater runoff, polluted wells, and noxious algae blooms in once clear waters, 16 Wisconsin citizens last month decided enough was enough. They filed a petition with the federal Environmental Protection Agency to force Wisconsin to correct failures in its clean water program or else take away Wisconsin’s authority to administer permits under the Clean Water Act. 
It is a step of last resort expressing an utter lack of confidence in the state government’s ability and desire to protect its waterways. 
The past two decades have seen the dismantling of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the state agency in charge of issuing and enforcing clean water regulations, according to Kim Wright, executive director of Midwest Environmental Advocates. The agency’s workforce has declined 18 percent since 1995. Last summer Republican Governor Scott Walker abolished the agency’s water division and its Bureau of Science Services while eliminating 18 staff positions.
Update - - I'd also cited a Circle of Blue report last year on Waukesha's Great Lakes water diversion application:
And just a few days ago, Circle of Blue, an independent science and journalism collaborative and website in Michigan, focused on water issues - - and using information in documents obtained from the Waukesha Water Utility through the Wisconsin Open Records law - - raised fresh questions about how Waukesha applied key water levels' data in its possession about available underground water supplies to justify an application diverting water from Lake Michigan. 

3 comments:

Marilyn McDole said...

How long does it take to respond yes/no to these petitions?

Anonymous said...

It is a step of last resort expressing an utter lack of confidence in the state government’s ability and desire to protect its waterways AND CITIZENS.

Wisconsin's Republican controlled government could not care less about protecting the well being of a majority of its citizens. It does, however, excel at protecting the well being of its special interest donor class.

Anonymous said...

You can attend the meeting of the Kewaunee County Groundwater committee and have your voice heard. See https://kewauneecares.wordpress.com/