January 29, 2014 by Rebecca Kemble
A bill that would make it easier for large agribusiness, mega-sized dairies known as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), frac sand mining companies and anyone else who wants to exploit Wisconsin’s groundwater for financial gain to obtain a permit for high capacity wells has just been scheduled for a public hearing tomorrow, January 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm in 225 NW at the state capitol.
The Assembly version of SB 302, which was passed by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources last November, was introduced yesterday as AB 679.
The bill prevents the Department of Natural Resources from using scientific information relating to how proposed high capacity wells would affect surface and ground water supplies in the permitting process, and forces the DNR to make a decision within 65 days, while being short-staffed and overwhelmed with large numbers of applications.
Related to this is a provision in the budget that becomes effective this July which prohibits people from contesting a permitting decision based on the cumulative impacts on ground and surface waters to which the proposed well would contribute.
For an extensive analysis of SB 302 read this article published by The Progressive written last year.
Here are the members of the Assembly Committee on the Environment and Forestry who will be hearing the bill tomorrow, with live links to their contact information: