DNR challenges court decision to revoke high-capacity well permits


A court order to revoke eight high-capacity well permits, based on a suit by Clean Wisconsin, is being appealed by the DNR. Clean Wisconsin claimed the DNR is constitutionally responsible to evaluate the impacts of high capacity wells on the nearby waterways because the wells lower water levels of streams and lakes. > The Pointer

Politicized Wisconsin DNR erasing rare wetlands, retired experts say


Retired Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources experts are raising alarms about what they say are unusually bold signs of political influence in the agency that are threatening to allow businesses to destroy wide swaths of rare and valuable wetlands. > Wisconsin State Journal

Assembly OKs contentious GOP wetlands permit exemptions bill


Republicans moved closer Thursday to relaxing wetland regulations, passing a contentious bill that would allow builders to fill certain marshes and bogs without a permit. The Assembly passed the bill 58-39, sending it on to the Senate, which is expected to vote on the proposal Tuesday. > Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

Wisconsin becoming wetter as lawmakers weaken rules for flood-preventing wetlands


As Wisconsin becomes a wetter place, lawmakers are pushing ahead with controversial rules to weaken protections of wetlands. These ecologically important landscapes are currently protected by state and federal laws for a variety of reasons, including their ability to hold storm water and protect against flooding. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin DNR’s No. 2 to rejoin Cathy Stepp at Chicago EPA


The Wisconsin DNR’s second in command is following former agency secretary Cathy Stepp to the U.S. EPA office in Chicago. Kurt Thiede was a career DNR employee who, unlike Stepp, holds a college degree and a background in the sciences. > Wisconsin State Journal

Conservation is victim of the political compromise on wetland bills


After lawmakers stripped regulations on isolated, nonfederal wetlands to hasten approval of the multibillion dollar Foxconn plan in 2017, some politicians seized the opening. Why not end protections for all 1 million acres of isolated wetlands statewide? > Green Bay Press-Gazette

EPA’s Stepp agrees to recuse herself from Wisconsin review


U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp has recused herself from a Wisconsin compliance review. Midwest Environmental Advocates and 16 individuals petitioned the EPA in 2015 to review Wisconsin DNR’s compliance with the Clean Water Act.S tepp served as DNR secretary from 2011 through August 2017. > AP News