Sunday, August 19, 2018

Walker, Wisconsin again flunk the Minnesota test

I've taken note on this blog - - here and here, etc. - - that Minnesota keeps leaving Wisconsin up a polluted creek.

But this recent statement by Minnesota's DNR Commissioner - -

The water belongs to all of us.
- - amplifies this contrary and shamefully stupid Walkerism thrown out by Cathy Stepp, the former Wisconsin-developer-cum DNR Secretary and current US EPA Great Lakes regional director for Donald Trump:
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, a former home builder, recalled at one agency listening session how an employee told her that “clean air and clean water, that those were our customers. 
And I said, ‘Well, the last time I checked, they don’t pay taxes and they don’t sign our paychecks.’ “
Wisconsin's constitution, on paper, reflects the Minnesota philosophy which dates to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and even earlier.

But Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality'-driven DNR and his systematic attack on the environmental for big business and/or his donors has led to wetland filling, enabling of toxic mining, blue-green algae contaminated rivers and brown tap water in rural areas where big ag has been allowed to grab the groundwater and pollute what's left
Manure running from a Kewaunee dairy CAFO
left has rendered that Wisconsin state constitutional water guarantee and the DNR's mission statement useless.

Remember, Walker began formally weakening Wisconsin's wetland protections within the first hours of his first term, and administratively blew up a wetland permit review for donor-developer so his plan to fill a wetland for a big-box store near Lambeau Field could be fast-tracked.

Foreshadowing that he is the kind of water-disrespecting Governor who'd shrug off flooding and Great Lakes preservation, and would provide the DNR managers who would greenlight golf course development, with its need for fertilizers, landscape scouring, wetland filling and groundwater pumping in a nature preserve hugging the Lake Michigan shoreline?

With state parkland thrown in for the developer's vehicle storing and fertilizer mixing convenience?


Chris said...

I disagree with the DNR on this point: I think that the citizens of Wisconsin are the DNR's customers. Ensuring clean air and water to its citizens should be among the DNR's main objectives.

Cathy Stepp, of course, had a select group of citizens in mind: special interest groups and Scott Walker campaign contributors!

Allen said...

Kathy never built a home. Her husband builds homes and she runs the enviromental compliance of Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park because Walker and Vos passed a law that usurps local power.

Rich Eggleston said...

Chris... the legal principle is called the public trust doctrine, and in its most lyrical form, it holds that our natural resources are held in trust not only for us "customers" of today but for future generations. Which fits better with the Native American philosophy of planning seven generations ahead than of the quarterly-earnings-report driven mindset that seems so prevalent in state government.