Public finally scores a victory on Wisconsin water

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The Wisconsin DNR has long been the guardian of the state’s lakes and rivers, until Scott Walker and company got their hands on the department. That’s why this week’s Dane County Circuit Court ruling provides a glimmer of hope that the current DNR and Republican AG Schimel can at least somewhat be reined in. > Cap Times

Foxconn project creating interest and concern in Great Lakes Basin

great-lakes

A group representing mayors from around the Great Lakes says it’s concerned about exemptions from environmental regulations being given by Wisconsin for the large Foxconn electronics factory planned for Racine County. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Beware new front group formed on water policy

wetlands

A new group that says it aims to protect state waters appears to be a front group with ties to powerful business, agriculture and manufacturing interests. The Wisconsin Water Alliance says water must be protected for “current and future generations of families, cities, businesses, and others.” But take a look at the group’s officers. > Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Loss of bipartisanship on environment hurts Wisconsin

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State Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) writing in the Cap Times: “What has happened to Wisconsin? Not that long ago, when faced with an environmental crisis, Democrats and Republicans worked hand in hand to come up with commonsense solutions. Now I see a new generation of Republican lawmakers who fail to see the forest for the trees.”

Judge throws out industrial well permits scientists said would harm public waters

wells

A Dane County judge has thrown out eight high-capacity well permits the state granted to businesses despite warnings from its own scientists that the heavy water withdrawals would harm vulnerable lakes, streams and drinking water supplies. > Wisconsin State Journal

Committee votes to lift Wisconsin’s sulfide mining moratorium

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The Senate committee overseeing mining voted 3-2 to approve a Republican bill that would end Wisconsin’s sulfide mining moratorium. The 1998 legislation requires companies seeking to mine sulfide ores such as copper, zinc and gold to prove similar North American mines had operated for 10 years and been closed for 10 years without causing pollution. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin Republicans launch new rollback of air, water protections

wetlands

Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature want to eliminate state protections for wetlands and air quality that aren’t mandated by the federal government, saying they are costly for businesses. About a million acres of wetlands could be left vulnerable and 300 hazardous air pollutants could become unregulated under a pair of circulating  proposals. > Wisconsin State Journal