Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Does WI environmental law blight the land, waterfronts?

State Sen. Frank Lasee made a number of claims in a news release two days ago to justify a bill he is co-sponsoring to ease and alter state environmental protections along shorelines and elevate property owners' development rights. 

It's a sweeping proposal that undermines public water rights and precedent contained in Article IX of the state constitution, and is not some sort of re-balancing of rights, as argued by both Lasee and Gov. Walker.

About the impact of current Wisconsin law and environmental regulation, Lasee said:

In Wisconsin, properties on or near shorelines have stagnated for decades by crippling state regulations and unclear ownership. The City of Superior’s shoreline remains blighted and littered with decrepit structures, while just across the bridge Minnesota’s Duluth is flush with restaurants, hotels, and commercial areas. 
He also said, in bold-face:
...every time a job creator applies for a permit they wind up in court because Wisconsin laws aren’t clear enough... 
Is there data to back up these claims about WI environmental law and its negative consequences? 

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