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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

 10:14 AM 

DNR says mitigating fill-in of streams is new provision; leg council says provision "untested"

Questioning of the DNR focused mostly on whether the bill allows the DNR to collaborate with the Army Corps of Engineers and if certain provisions of the bill will end up violating the state's Public Trust Doctrine.

Several Republicans asked point blank whether the bill would hamstring the department in maintaining environmental standards. Rep. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, said that several of his constituents have asked whether the bill would harm air and water quality standards.

"I don't think the bill does anything to air and water quality standards on the mine site," said DNR representative Ann Coakley.

Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, focused his attention on a provision that would allow a mining company to fill in navigable waters and mitigate elsewhere. Jauch asked the DNR representatives whether the DNR had handled this before.

"From just a standard mitigation concept, no," said DNR representative Russ Rassmussen.

"The answer is no," Jauch repeated. Legislative Council staff also made clear that the provision is untested under the Public Trust Doctrine.


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