Vos: Wetlands bill should pass after being revised from public hearing version

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Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says a bill that would allow developers to fill state wetlands without a permit should pass the chamber but the bill’s chief sponsor, Majority Leader Jim Steineke, is working on changes to assuage concerns raised at a public hearing last month. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Gubernatorial candidate Matt Flynn blasts Foxconn’s green light to pollute wetlands

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Scott Walker challenger Matt Flynn attacked the governor this week for falsely implying that the federal government would protect wetlands threatened by Foxconn: “Even the Chinese government, which has engineered one of the most polluted countries on the planet, has investigated Foxconn for ‘severely exceeding’ China’s flimsy requirements for water protection.” > Urban Milwaukee

First environmental exemption clears Foxconn to fill 26 acres of wetlands

Wisconsin’s decision to lift restrictions on filling state-protected wetlands for Foxconn is already paying off. Under state law enacted last year, Foxconn has no obligation to avoid or minimize its impact on a pond and 42 wetlands that cover about 26 acres in southwest Mount Pleasant. > Racine Journal Times

Developers, environmental groups clash over wetland regulation rollback

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Environmental advocates and developers clashed Thursday in the state Capitol over a proposal to decrease regulation of wetlands in Wisconsin. Under the proposal, the DNR would no longer regulate nonfederal wetlands, meaning developers could build on those lands without a permit. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Kohler’s new golf course gets tentative approval for wetlands permit from DNR

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The state DNR says it has tentatively approved a key permit involving the impact on wetlands for Kohler Co.’s controversial planned multimillion-dollar golf course on the shore of Lake Michigan in Sheboygan County. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Legislature passes bill allowing utilities to fill wetlands

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The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a bill that would loosen wetland restoration requirements for public utilities. The Republican bill, which now heads to Gov. Walker’s desk, would allow the DNR to exempt public utilities and power cooperatives from mitigation requirements if they fill no more than 10,000-square-feet of wetlands. > Fox 11 Green Bay

Stripping wetland protections to have consequences, intended or not

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Construction work has filled Wisconsin wetlands at a quickened pace since 2012 when a law loosened regulations while requiring builders to minimize the damage they do, data reviewed by the Wisconsin State Journal show. Over the same five years, demand for state permits allowing wetland elimination accelerated even more rapidly.