Turns out that the Bureau, along with the oversight committee, asked Stepp for a plan five months ago to comply with an audit and state wastewater standards and enforcement; Stepp, having not forwarded a plan, has asked for an extension without giving any reason why she needed more time.
"Walker, for example, has targeted DNR scientists with budget cuts because they were involved in research related to climate change and sought to reduce environmental regulations, but he seldom addresses the topic of global warming. “Once you engage on that topic you are going to displease someone,” Moynihan said."
Elected officials have been unable to agree on how to regulate the contentious issue. The agriculture and food-processing industries have demanded more water, but in some areas lakes and streams have dried up, raising the ire of waterfront property owners and conservationists.
“The Wisconsin DNR has a responsibility to accurately inform the public about the challenges presented by climate change,” the scientists said. “Ignoring facts and this responsibility hobbles the state agency entrusted to manage natural resources and protect the public. It also portrays the Wisconsin state government as anti-science.”
So it’s likely Trump will replace Robert Kaplan, the interim regional administrator of the EPA Chicago office who last summer sent a team of investigators to review water pollution permit files in the state Department of Natural Resources office in Madison, said Tressie Kamp, an MEA attorney. Kaplan also spearheaded months of public discussions that resulted in detailed recommendations for keeping dairy manure out of water as well as a plan for supplying emergency water to Kewaunee County, where one-third of test wells have been tainted with hazardous bacteria from animal waste.
A sweeping plan drawn up in Wisconsin’s Republican- controlled Legislature would scatter Department of Natural Resources parks, forestry, environmental, hunting and fishing programs among three existing agencies and two new ones.
The proposal’s sponsor provided scant specific reasons for seeking the change except to say he wants to help business operators and outdoors enthusiasts who have told him the DNR “is just not working in its current form.”
Among Schimel’s contributions from the agriculture industry in 2013 and 2014 was $4,400 from about a half dozen factory farm owners. Topping the list of Schimel’s factory farm contributors was $1,000 each from Todd Willer, of Freedom, John and Keri Vosters, of Freedom, and James Ostrom, of De Pere, all owners of Milk Source, which operates about a half-dozen large farms throughout the state.
After years of complaints about tainted drinking water and weed-choked waterways, proposals for tighter state restrictions on industrial-scale dairy operations are in the works. Without adequate law enforcement, the state could slide back toward the polluted conditions that existed before enactment of the federal Clean Water Act in 1972, and he’s not sure the Legislature is prepared to make needed changes. “The people of this state believe in water quality. We brag about our lakes and rivers and having great places to fish in and swim in.”