Tuesday, February 27, 2018

WI Assembly GOP sneakily green-lights rare wetland destruction

[Updates from 2/23: 1. A former career DNR staffer testified Monday that the permit in question was approved after intervention by politically-appointed DNR officials who overruled expert, non-partisan line experts. 2. A former DNR water lawyer testified today that a special bill quietly adopted by the Assembly will block citizen input into environmental preservation and create other problems.  Hearing information and context, is here, a a bigger picture view is here.] 

Contemptible Wisconsin Republican environmental haters just don't stop.

This relentless Walker-inspired avaricious attack on the environment, fair play and Wisconsin heritage - - all for the shallowest of 'motivations' - - partisan gain, political position and donor advantage - - began in the early days of the Walker administration.

That's when a Walker donor-developer was granted special permission through interventions by Walker and the Legislature to build on a wetland near Lambeau Field before a DNR review was completed.

That began a seven-year war - - orchestrated in the Governor's Office, abetted by malleable legislators, fueled by donors and trade groups and dutifully implemented by senior managers in the DNR and other agencies - - kept surface waters polluted and ground water contaminated- - and against all reason is about to hand over acreage within popular Kohler Andrae State Park so a prominent Walker donor can fine tune his plans for an upscale golf course development.

But wait: you haven't seen it all yet, because this disgraceful, purposeful one-party sell-out of the public's interests and resources just got more purposely and disgracefully sleazier.

Not content with opening the state to toxifying metal mining, and removing protection from 100,000 wetland acres, and allowing Foxconn to build on Racine County lake beds and flood-mitigating wetlands, the GOP-led Wisconsin Assembly outdid all its water-carrying for big corporations with a quietly-introduced amendment when the Assembly was close to adjourning that legislated permit exemptions so a single company could more easily cut down

a acres of rare Wisconsin timber.
The exemptions, in the form of a last-minute amendment to a wetlands bill, were written to benefit Meteor Timber, an Atlanta-based company, which is planning to build a sand processing plant and rail spur near I-94 in Monroe County catering to the frac sand industry.
The land now features a rare hardwoods swamp, and in May 2017 the Department of Natural Resources approved the company’s plans to destroy 16.25 [acres] of wetlands in exchange for the company making other environmental improvements... 
The amendment would exempt Meteor from some of the requirements the DNR imposed on the project. 
Like I said, they never stop.
Image result for Wisconsin forests photos

No comments: