More than 800 waterways have been added to the list of lakes and streams that exceed phosphorus and other pollutant limits since Scott Walker became governor. In addition to weakening regulations that control shoreline development and dredging, Walker has allowed the destruction of more wetlands, which absorb pollutants before they reach the lakes. > Cap Times
Wisconsin environmental regulators at the DNR improperly gave a Georgia company permission last year to destroy wetlands to make way for a sand processing plant in Monroe County, a judge ruled Friday. The permits had been challenged by environmental group Clean Wisconsin and the Ho-Chunk Nation. > AP News
Questions have abounded about the various regulations that are being relaxed to enable the construction and operation of the new Foxconn factory. Because when Wisconsin’s rules are bent to accommodate a single private industrial entity, taxpayers should be very wary. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Staff at the DNR say they felt pressured by department administration to rush the approval of a controversial permit to fill 16 acres of high-quality wetlands in western Wisconsin that’s now being challenged in court, according to emails obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio through an open records request and interviews with former staffers. > Wisconsin Public Radio
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
State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, who is running for governor, wrote in theWinona Daily News: “Talking to scientists and engineers is key to understanding the importance of wetlands and the implications of removing state protections.” But warp-speed legislation makes it nearly impossible to have these conversations or get public input, she said.
The state Senate is poised for a marathon session Tuesday that includes a controversial bill to roll back state wetlands protections. The measure already passed the state Assembly, so its Senate passage would send it to the desk of a supportive Gov. Scott Walker. > Wisconsin State Journal