Saturday, June 17, 2017

WI ignores lessons of self-inflicted MI water tragedies

[Updated from 6/16/17] It's pretty clear that Wisconsin state officials in charge of providing clean water don't follow the news in neighboring Michigan.

So consider this post a public service announcement for Wisconsin GOP politicians who have just created a new method to block, even permanently, state agency rules like the one which was supposed to keep contaminating phosphorous out of state rivers, lakes and streams.

Right-wing Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill into law written by special-interest controlled GOP legislators which further embeds Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" direction of state environmental oversight by allowing Legislators to block certain state agency rules and even keep them frozen without implementation forever.

Supporters of the bill, which include Republicans and business groups, have said it would have prevented environmental-protection rules that proved costly to businesses, such as the state Department of Natural Resources’ 2010 phosphorus rule.
Note that the so-called phosphorous rule put in place after years of stakeholder negotiation was already watered-down by the Legislature and Walker to give phosphorous-dumping agencies decades more time to comply with clean water standards.

So it is not surprising that there is still a large phosphorous-related dead zone in Lake Michigan as well as a marked increase in the number of impaired rivers reported to the federal government and followrd by this blog, here.

And to the Walkerite special-interest captives now running state government who have again intentionally used their positions to enable or otherwise tolerate water pollution in state rivers, streams - - 
Manure runoff from Kewaunee County feedlot
- - and groundwater which flows into wells, some recommended relevant news from neighboring Michigan you might have missed but which you ought to read very closely, and that you should file under 'with governing comes responsibility.'
5 Michigan Officials Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter in Connection With Flint Water Crisis
I'm not saying there is perfect equivalency between what happened in Flint and what is going in Wisconsin's Kewaunee County, for example, where the state has not moved aggressively against known, long-standing drinking water contamination - - 
Complete DNR fail: Massive fecal pollution in Kewaunee County wells
 - - and where lax pollution inspections and enforcement has been organized against by citizens and advocates, and documented - -
State audit finds DNR ignoring own rules on water pollution
- - but the Michigan tragedy with multiple victims which will linger for years is certainly a lesson in personal responsibility, smart policy-making - - unlike Wisconsin's laws blatantly-tilted towards factory farming - - and the consequences, logical or unintended, of public policy failure.

And quietly shipping Kewaunee residents bottled water as the 2018 election looms, and after years of inaction while government kept expanding the big feedlot operations while reducing inspections and pollution enforcement, speaks volumes.



Underscoring the words of the son of a Michigan woman who died as a result of official state action as alleged should be taken as gospel by all public officials in charge of clean water, public health and people's safety:
To the defendants, he said, “you’re responsible for the well-being of other people, you can’t just negate that duty and stand by idly and watch to see if something bad happens.”

1 comment:

Peter Felknor said...

Responsibility?! What's that? Governing means that you get paid off for doing somebody's dirty business. Get with the program!