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GOP Bill Would End Wisconsin Wetland Development Permits

A bill being considered in the Wisconsin Legislature would reduce requirements for developing on wetlands. A bill being considered in the Wisconsin Legislature would reduce requirements for developing on wetlands. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

October 02, 2017 06:14 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republicans are pushing a new bill that would allow developers to build on state wetlands without a permit.

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The GOP has long bristled at Department of Natural Resources permit requirements for filling state wetlands. A $3 billion incentives package Gov. Scott Walker signed to lure a Foxconn Technology Company plant to southeastern Wisconsin exempts the company from wetland permit requirements.

Sen. Roger Roth and Rep. Jim Steineke's bill would take that concept a step further by completely eliminating the permit system for state wetlands. Developers would still have to follow a state law that requires creating 1.2 acres of wetlands for every acre filled, however.

Steineke and Roth say the bill would cut red tape for developers.

Erin O'Brien, policy programs director for the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, says the bill essentially allows construction companies to pay to pave over wetlands.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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