Sunday, February 18, 2018

In Walker's dirtied-up, donor-driven WI, an end to coindence

You can say this certainty about the banal privatizing of Wisconsin public resources and nationally-noted environmental degradation during Walker's rule.

It isn't complicated: there aren't any coincidences anymore.

*  If this is the question: Why did Walker recently appoint
an actual former Executive Director of the Eagle River chamber of commerce as the new DNR Secretary? 

The answer is what sort of appointee could one-up Walker's first appointed DNR Secretary - - developer-builder and former McDonald's manager Cathy Stepp - - now a regional administrator in Trump's business-obeisant US EPA - - whose "chamber of commerce mentality" caught Walker's eye in 2010 and led to her seven years of ruinous, corporatized DNR 'management.

And why are so many business favors dispensed by Walker and his DNR for groundwater control, sand mining, grabs for primo state land, and the enabling of permit-free wetland filling statewide by and for businesses like Foxconn statewide across Walker's entire tenure long before anyone around here heard of Foxconn.

Well, before we had the scandal-plagued public piggy-bank known as the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation from whose chairmanship Walker punted, there was a Wisconsin Department of Commerce that Walker threw out, so let's put it this way:
The WI DNR is the new Department of Commerce

*  Another question: Why there is such widespread and persistent manure contamination of residential wells in Kewaunee County?

This all-purpose story pretty much explains it, though the headline would have been stronger if '94+% of the time' could have been squeezed in: 

State audit finds DNR ignoring own rules on water pollution
And throw in this one for good measure, too:
Walker Donors Got DNR Well Permits
*  Or this one:

Waterway pollution in Wisconsin is spiking in Wisconsin on Walker's watch, according to data that the DNR forwards to the federal government and which I gathered and posted, here - - and the major culprit is known to be phosphorous, according to the DNR

 More lopsided data on the DNR list for 2016 in favor of pollution: 
In the proposed 2016 list update, DNR proposes to add 225 new waters. 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 how did that happen, since you may recall that in 2010, after years of collaborative work among stakeholders statewide, a new rule was implemented to finally address phosphorous dumping and runoff.

Enter GOP legislators and their somewhat Orwellian-titled "Healthy Waters, Strong Economy Act" - - which the Journal Sentinel noted last year:

The GOP-controlled Legislature in 2014 passed legislation that would give the option to factories and sewage treatment plants to put off fully meeting stricter phosphorus limits for up to 20 years. 
The DNR muddies the issues on this March 17, 2017 web page with a blend of bureaucratic and chamber-of-commercy-jargon that further affirms why there no coincidences anymore in our intentionally, ideologically-dirtied-up state environment:
The multi-discharger variance (MDV) for phosphorus extends the timeline for complying with low-level phosphorus limits. In exchange, point sources commit to step-wise reductions of phosphorus within their effluent as well as helping to address nonpoint sources of phosphorus from farm fields, cities or natural areas to implement projects designed to improve water quality.
And so how has all that "step-wise reductions of phosphorous" or "Healthy Waters..." legislating worked out for people and the water in Walker's "chamber of commerce"-run environment?

Back to the DNR web page about the state of Wisconsin's waterways:

*  Same story in the 2018 list
In the proposed 2018 list update, DNR proposes to add 240 new water segments. A majority of the listing additions were waters that exceed total phosphorus criteria. Thirty-five waterbodies are proposed to be delisted. 

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