How Scott Walker Dismantled Wisconsin's Environmental Legacy

 But since Gov. Walker took office, she says, “We have not been able to settle one permit—we’ve had to litigate every single challenge. We’re often told by [DNR] staff, ‘We know you’re right, but you’re going to have to sue us because the people above me won’t let me issue a technically sufficient permit.’ That’s a really big difference—the interference in science-based decision-making is pretty complete."

But since Gov. Walker took office, she says, “We have not been able to settle one permit—we’ve had to litigate every single challenge. We’re often told by [DNR] staff, ‘We know you’re right, but you’re going to have to sue us because the people above me won’t let me issue a technically sufficient permit.’ That’s a really big difference—the interference in science-based decision-making is pretty complete."

Kimberlee Wright, executive director of Midwest Environmental Advocates, an environmental law center, works closely with DNR engineers and scientists to review and comment on pollution permits for activities such as wastewater disposal and groundwater pumping under the Clean Water Act. In the past, Wright says, the process was typically straightforward, and she and colleagues were routinely able to hammer out permits that followed the technical requirements of the law.