Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Under Walker, hundreds more WI waterways rated 'impaired'

[Updated from 4/17/16] Every two years, the DNR is required under the US Clean Water Act to tell the US Environmental Protection Agency how many Wisconsin waterways have reached "impaired" status, and how many have been cleaned enough to be delisted.

It's Public Health 101 stuff. If you are on a river to swim or fish, or if it's how your well is fed, you want to know if it's clean and safe to use.

In 2014, 28 Wisconsin waterways were removed from the 2012 listing, but 147 were added to an existing total exceeding 700 compiled for the 2012 report, DNR records show.

In 2016, the DNR told the EPA that Wisconsin would be adding another 225 waterways to the impaired list while only delisting ten:

A majority of the listing additions were waters that exceed total phosphorus criteria. A significant number of new listings were also based on poor biological condition. Ten waterbodies are proposed to be delisted.
So for about every one waterway that finally meets quality standards, roughly ten more fail.

Helluva trend, Bucky.

Update: The public-interest law form Midwest Environmental Advocates Tweeted this yesterday in response to this blog post:
Midwest Advocates‏ @MidwestAdvocate 7h7 hours ago:
Meanwhile we hear legislators are circulating a letter in support of rolling back/eliminating phosphorus standards. No science no problem?
And regrettably, not surprising since Wisconsin has intentionally eased prohibitions against phosphorous dumping, leading to a big dead zone in Lake Michigan, for example, and multiple unchecked manure discharges from the big dairy operations Wisconsin continues to expand.

Remember all this the next time you hear right-wing GOP Gov. and WMC bellhop Scott Walker - - he who has brought us the "chamber of commerce mentality" DNR - - tell you the state is heading in the right direction.

And keep it in mind when you read that Trump intends to break the EPA into little pieces

It wouldn't surprise me if among the many regulatory rollbacks his industry friends have told Trump to get busy implementing is the elimination of these kinds of public health standards and the reports that tell people what's happening in their water.

More in this Washington Post special report, your must read of the day:
EPA emerges as major target after Trump solicits policy advice from industry
And if the Gorsuch Court models the morally-and-politically bankrupted 5-2 right-tilted Wisconsin State Supreme Court, there will be no where to turn.


Mary Kay said...

My Dad and his neighbors would be furious if he were living today... after having spent years of their lives implementing and monitoring excellent conservation practices on their small dairy farms.

Liftplus said...

Thanks for sharing, that was interesting to read!