Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kohler golf course stalled for deeper permit review

Really glad to see that conservationists have prevailed in their request for a deeper review of the DNR's award of wetland filling permission for the proposed Kohler golf course site.

That acreage is really close to the groundwater and to Lake Michigan just down a modest bluff. 

It's hard to imagine that fertilizer runoff and other pollutants won't leach into the groundwater and lake.

And take a look at all the environmental losses on the 247-acre site, not to mention acreage within adjoining Kohler-Andrae State Park awarded by the DNR with the shameful approval of its oversight board.

Check in at the website of Friends of the Black River Forest for updates.

WI DNR schedules hearings on Foxconn's whopping air pollution

No wonder Walker and his allies want eased air pollution rules in SE Wisconsin: Foxconn is going make the air a lot dirtier there.
Smoke stacks from a factory.
On the level of what a big paper plant spews.

With the comment period on Foxconn's controversial ask for a Lake Michigan diversion closing Wednesday, the DNR has announced the schedule for a hearing on four emission permits sought by the company for its several facilities:

 A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at:

SC Johnson iMET Center
2320 Renaissance Boulevard
Sturtevant, WI
DNR staff will be available starting at 6:00 p.m. for an open house and informal question and answer session.
So heads up, Racine County, and people living downwind, and anything in and on Lake Michigan, or the land nearby, as BizTimes reports:
The four facilities, to be built in phases over the next several years, could combine to emit 229 tons per year of nitrogen oxides, 240 tons of carbon monoxide, 52 tons of particulate matter, 4 tons of sulfur dioxide and 275 tons of volatile organic compounds... 
There’s only one facility in the state – the Verso Corp. Wisconsin Rapids paper mill – that emits at or above the levels Foxconn is proposing across all five pollutants. 
A full archive about the project is here.

Remind me if anyone remembers hearing Walker and Foxconn alert anyone that all that tonnage was in the package. I also amend my no-risk description of Kenosha's situation.

Schimel touts crippling Obamacare (which funds much opioid care)

Wisconsin GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel is lauding his litigation against Obamacare:
Texas and Wisconsin, joined by 20 states, filed a lawsuit in federal court earlier this month asking the federal courts to obey what the Supreme Court has already recognized and hold all of Obamacare unconstitutional...
We bring this challenge to Obamacare because, as state attorneys general, we took an oath of office to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights of Americans from the unconstitutional, ever-expanding intrusion of the federal government.
Remember that Obamacare helps fund Medicaid so this latest Schimel ploy if successful could make it harder for opioid addicts covered by Medicaid to receive expanded treatment - - as The [Federal] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently explained in plain English:
CMS announces new Medicaid policy to combat the opioid crisis by increasing access to treatment options
While Wisconsin on Schimel's watch had the largest uptick in opiood-related emergency room admissions in one, 16-state survey.
So while Schimel is praising himself for litigating against Obamacare - - and suing over Obama-era actions is a major, state-subsidized Schimel behavior - - he's also declined to litigate against the opioid manufacturers who have helped flood the state and nation with addicting pills.

Well done.

3/20/18 may mark historic WI GOP 'government' fail

We await the outcome of today's FUBAR State Capitol spectacle, where Republicans control both legislative houses and the Governor's office, so will:

*  Pass in special a hurriedly-drafted $100 million school safety package in the wake of gun violence which does not contain the words "gun" or "guns," just as the NRA-controlled Walker wants.

*  Pass, or not pass in the Senate, tax and spending measures covering additional hundreds of millions of public dollars 
Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg
GOP State Sen. Majority Leader and lead clown car driver Scott Fitzgerald, today

that are out of sync with what the Assembly has already passed. Though the Assembly so far refuses to come back into regular session to deal with what the Senate may do.

Or maneuver behind the scenes to act without hearings and other cumbersome trappings of normal, two-party democracy. And why not; the so-called "Sunshine Week" which offers brief, self-parodying lip service to open government expired a few days ago.

Here is an explanation of the Senate and Assembly infighting tantrum-throwing.

None of these these GOP 'leaders' should be allowed to manage a lemonade stand or Saturday's trip to Costco.

Major IL Walker donors, DNR land swappers in news

Right-wing money keeps flowing across the Wisconsin-Illinois border. 

Politico.com Monday launched a long profile of ultra-conservative Illinois-based political funders Elizabeth and Richard Uihlein, and it's definitely worth a read.
Uihlein and his wife, Elizabeth, are currently the biggest Republican donors of the 2018 midterm elections, having given $21 million to candidates for federal office and super PACs that will support them. And that doesn’t include their funding of state candidates, like [Illinois GOP Gov. primary hopeful Jean] Ives...
In Wisconsin, [Richard] Uihlein’s support alone vaulted a long-shot Republican candidate to the front of the pack for the Republican Senate nomination. The candidate, Kevin Nicholson, was initially met with skepticism from fellow Republicans due to his past role as president of the College Democrats of America — until Uihlein decided to support Nicholson after a meeting with him, brokered by a mutual friend. Eight different super PACs that receive Uihlein funds, including the Club for Growth, have signaled their support for Nicholson, convinced by Nicholson’s conversion story, as Uihlein was. 
The Uihleins, based in Lake Forest and heavily involved in Trump-world politicking, too, have high-profile business, residential and political interests in Wisconsin, too.

I've written about the couple's land dealings with the Wisconsin DNR and its oversight board - - both controlled by Walker, a substantial Uihlein campaign donation recipient.

Two years ago, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign tracked $26 million in recent Uihlein donations nationally, with Walker a major benefactor.

Media have noted the couple's campaign donations to Walker and the boost they are giving to the Nicholson for Senate effort in the GOP primary underway now.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Walker's legacy? Ignoring, unwinding predecessors' environmental records

Lake Michigan defines Wisconsin's eastern border, but Gov. Scott Walker is leaving on that lakeshore an environmental legacy of shame.

His calculated, donor-driven degradation of the Wisconsin DNR - - and, mind you this began in his first few days in office with an attack for a donor on a Brown County wetland - - an exceptional disdain for Wisconsin's conservation heritage and for the integrity of the Great Lakes also makes him an outlier compared to his predecessors in both parties who can claim legacy environmental achievements which Walker is undermining and showing no interest in bequeathing anything similar.

Other than telling a seven-year-old that leaving behind a clean campsite is the way to fight climate change. True story, while - - also true - - his DNR scrubbed climate change information from its official website.

Real legacy-building?

Let's look at Wisconsin's more serious leaders, like former Gov. Gaylord Nelson, (D), who gave the world Earth Day and teamed up in 1989 with Warren Knowles, (R), another ex-state chief executive, to create the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.

That's the state's principal land and water access and preservation program which Walker began attacking as early as 2011 - - and repeatedly to the tune of about a 60% cut overall as part of a larger anti-environmental agenda

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, (D), extended the Knowles-Nelson program for another ten years, oversaw a comprehensive strengthening of phosphorous pollution protections for state waters - - another Doyle initiative Walker has rolled back with the predictable increase in waterway contamination statewide - - and pushed through an eight-state legal Compact in 2008 which limits exports of finite, world-class Great Lakes freshwater resources from Wisconsin and the entire region. 

Even reliably pro-business Tommy Thompson, (R), helped create a nice urban space called Lakeshore State Park off the Summerfest grounds, though his environmental legacy was tainted when he ended the work of a state office staffed by independent state attorneys who had been gone to court for years in the public interest against well-heeled polluters run amok.

So from south to north up the Lake Michigan shoreline, Walker has done little for the people as did previous governors while consistently siding with special interests and polluters.

*  In Kenosha County, Walker wants weakened air pollution rules and manipulated air quality monitoring
Despite evidence that southeast Wisconsin is violating new and tougher emissions standards for smog, state officials are asking the Trump administration to set aside a recent federal finding and conclude the state is complying with the law. 
Falling short of that, the state Department of Natural Resources is recommending federal officials carve out narrow strips of land of a few miles along the Lake Michigan shoreline as violating the new standard for ozone pollution and declare the rest of the state in compliance.
And, hey - - if the air keeps registering too dirty, just move the monitoring device, and presto, stupid science problem solved - - though that air pollution is still going to land in the water, let along your lungs.

*  Which could help allow dirty air emissions by the proposed Foxconn complex on a huge site in Racine County which Walker and the GOP-led legislature have already exempted from routine environmental reviews, state wetland, lake bed and stream altering permit rules.

And where Walker's DNR will no doubt approve a controversial plan to divert Lake Michigan water for Foxconn and to enable the return of properly-treated wastewater to Lake Michigan which Foxconn's industrial-scale production is going to generate.

* In Sheboygan County, three Walker-directed state agencies - - the DNR, its oversight board and the Department of Administration - - have worked to create wetland-filling permissions, project boundaries in a friendly municipality, and a transfer of state parkland so a major Walker donor can bulldoze much of a 247-acre privately-owned nature preserve for a privately-ownedlakefront golf course.

* In Kewaunee County, the DNR continues to allow the expansion of more large dairy cattle feeding operations which lead to known, groundwater and surface pollution.

* And ditto in Door County, above Kewaunee County.

* Not to mention the "dead zone" off Brown County in Lake Michigan:
There are as many cows in Wisconsin’s Brown County as there are people in the city of Green Bay. It’s a fact J. Val Klump, dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences, uses to explain why agricultural runoff is a main cause of dead zones in Lake Michigan’s Green Bay.
And here's the kicker. 

Despite this horrible, cascading record - - a partisan performance likely to spread because Walker and his GOP-led Legislature recently greenlit the filling of another 100,000 acres of wetlands statewide and an approval for potentially-polluting metal mining banned in Wisconsin for the last 20 years - - a summary posting, here - - Walker had actually done something good for Lake Michigan that would have stimulated clean and appealing waters.

He initiated the creation of a mapped, so-called sanctuary zone in Lake Michigan off the shoreline of several lakeshore counties to help explore, preserve and help shipwrecks which are part of the state and Great Lakes history.

All to attract tourist, business and scholarly interest and also to promote clean, productive and appealing waters.

Until he abruptly killed his own idea - - reinforcing his reflexive caving to special interests when the environment and the Great Lakes are in the conversation.

Up and down his Lake Michigan lakeshore of shame.

Final thought: Walker's debasing of the Great Lakes which help frame the state would have been been a two-for had his plan to demolish the Penokee Hills and fill the Bad River watershed close to Lake Superior with mining fill for 35 years had his donor-driven open-pit iron ore mining scheme been allowed to move forward.

So let's redo that Walker environmental legacy, both compared to what other Governors did and what his tenure has meant for Wisconsin and the region:
It could have been worse

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Foxconn deadlines and reminders

Things you should know about Foxconn's push for a massive daily diversion of Lake Michigan water
that arguably undermines the conservation goals of an historic eight-state, two-nation Great Lakes Compact:
Jodi Habush Sinykin, an attorney for Midwest Environmental Advocates, said the Great Lakes Compact bans diversions outside the Great Lakes basin unless they meet narrowly defined exceptions. She cited section 4.9.1 of the compact that states “all the water so transferred shall be used solely for public water supply purposes within the straddling community.”
The compact further defines “public water supply” as serving “largely residential customers that may also serve industrial, commercial and other institutional operators,” Sinykin said.
“Rather, the complete opposite is true,” she said. “Racine will use the majority, if not the entirety, of the diverted Great Lakes water to serve the industrial needs of a single, private, foreign industrial entity – Foxconn.”
1. There is a 3/21 deadline for comments to the Wisconsin DNR on the proposed diversion of seven millions gallons daily of Lake Michigan water to serve the Foxconn project. The DNR has sole authority under the Great Lakes Compact to approve this proposed diversion. 

Here's the comment procedure:

Hard copy comments can be sent to:
DNR Drinking Water and Groundwater Program DG/5
Attn: Adam Freihoefer
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

2. Here is one comprehensive posting with 152 separate items in a Foxconn archive for your review that goes back to day one.

3. The diversion would be the Wisconsin's fifth, and the state's approach to Great Lakes management has been, shall we say, arrogant and slippery.

4. Not surprisingly, the deck is stacked in favor of the diversion, so building a solid and informed record of opposition is important.

Walker has systematically weakened and debased the DNR, kept it under his continually expanding pro-business ideological control and has moved a key member of his staff who had also served as the Waller-appointed and former corporate-friendly DNR Deputy Secretary into a new position as state liaison to the project:
Matt Moroney, the former WI DNR Deputy Secretary whom Walker has  promoted to state point person on the Foxconn project, is a former developer association director who opposed the Great Lakes Compact because it would impede economic activity in Wisconsin, as he had written when the Compact was headed for legislative approval:
...the compact is far too limiting on Wisconsin residents, usurps state autonomy to accomplish Wisconsin objectives...if the water cannot be utilized for economic growth, being located next to the Great Lakes will put Wisconsin at an economic disadvantage.
I have been following Moroney and the DNR for many years, including this 2012 post:
Senior DNR Official Opposed Great Lakes Compact As Approved
Water for growth in Waukesha County has a champion high up in the DNR.
Matt Moroney, an attorney and former SE Wisconsin home builders' executive, is a Scott Walker appointee to the powerful post of Deputy Secretary of the DNR.
His is not a household name, though Moroney helped write the original Assembly mining bill prior to its defeat, popped up in the story about the DNR having decided against referring to the State Justice Department an egregious case of human waste spreading on Jefferson County land near residential wells and helped explain the drop in DNR enforcement actions against polluters...
As a member of a Legislative Study Committee, Moroney raised numerous objections, including claims that the Compact could usurp local control, restrict economic growth, and place burdens and limitations on "straddling counties" - - the very category created by Compact drafters to help a city like Waukesha gain eligibility to apply for a diversion of water outside of the Great Lakes basin...
I will repost below what I wrote in December, 2010 about this matter. 

New DNR Deputy Secretary Wanted A Weaker Great Lakes Compact

Below are the formal comments submitted in 2006 to a special legislative study committee by Matt Moroney, then Executive Director of the Metropolitan Builders Association and now Scott Walker's nominee as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.
Moroney's efforts to water down the Compact and to remake what is basically a water management and conservation agreement into more of an economic development document were not successful - - State Sen. Mary Lazich, (R-New Berlin), led a failed state's rights campaign against the Compact. 
Wrote Moroney:
"The homebuilding industry does not believe the case has been made that it is necessary to manage the quantity of water being utilized from the Great Lakes to the extent that the compact does at this time. The compact is far too limiting in its standards and approval process for water use by straddling counties. Mr. Dahl, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, indicated in his presentation that the Army Corps does not even factor into its forecasting of lake levels the municipal use and other “minor” diversions. Such impacts are so trivial to other factors like evaporation and temperature. As a result, it is our belief that a little more flexibility for water diversions in states that border the Great Lakes is desirable for continued economic growth."
Now Moroney, an attorney, is in a key position to influence all state environmental policy, including how the Compact is implemented in Wisconsin, and especially as Waukesha's stalled and incomplete application for the Compact's first out-of-basin diversion moves through the DNR and perhaps to the other seven Great Lakes states for a mandatory regional review.
Looks like those who lost the fight against the Compact are in the driver's seat now. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Walker manipulates school aids, budget history

In the beginning there was this:
Walker budget will cut $1 b. in school, local aid
Part of his attack on the teaching profession and public service through Act 10:
[Updated several times from 9/1/17] The divide-and-conquer sneaky, partisan and giddly disrespectful Walker "dropped the bomb" on the teaching profession, and the consequences are unfolding...
Fast forward to his 'spank Robin Vos, side-wth-the Senate' 9/20/17 position:
Walker Vetoes Budget Item to Help for Low-Revenue Schools
But now that the campaign is on, there's the  3/12/18 pander:
Gov. Walker signs bill increasing aid for rural schools on Monday
Repeated across his his official and personal Twitter pages:

Enjoyed traveling to northern Wisconsin today to talk about how Wisconsin is working with our historic investments in education, including our Sparsity Aid increase for rural communities – raising the per-student investment from $300 to $400.
Spent this afternoon with students in Erin School District to highlight our historic investment in K-12 education, additional increase in funding for rural schools...

Ditto for his Facebook pages:
Our bipartisan legislation to increase Sparsity Aid for rural communities – from $300 per student to $400 – is on top of our already historic investments in education. Every child in Wisconsin deserves a quality education, regardless of zip code.

Cashton School District will receive an increase in funding like many rural schools throughout the state.

Years of documented do-nothingism = WI's FUBAR highways

"The Do-Nothing, Denial Blues."

That the title you could put on a history explaining Wisconsin's three-stage, apparently permanent transportation dysfunction of budget-breaking major highways, neglected street repairs and starved transit statewide.

We know the details:

Projects delayed and even cancelled because of bloated SE 'free'way expansion pushed by the unelected SE Regional Planning Commission and Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive.

* Fresh millions diverted from road work across the state by Walker to his latest special interest obsession - - the Foxconn project - - full reporting archive, here.

* The resulting potholed mess which motorists must navigate on their errands, and to tire repair shops.
Yet state GOP politicians in full state control for the last eight years will not do their jobs and craft a reliable funding solution to address all the state's transportation dysfunctions - - and don't hold your breath even as the small-government, tax-cutting hypocrites like Republican leaders Walker and Assembly Speaker Vos are all talk about raising the gas tax.

While the reflexively anti-Vos, game-play extraordinaire and State GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has warmed up to an even more far-off 'solution' - - road tolls.

Like I said, they are all do-nothings - - and inveterate campaigners interested foremost in in scooping up road-builder campaign donations, winning the next election, holding partisan power - - with no coherent plans that might fix the roads and keep the buses running.

Three things for the record:

1. The state gas tax used to go up automatically every April about a half-cent - - camouflaged by the bureaucratic term "indexing" - - until the political price for having set in motion a weaselly tax increase without accountability got too high.

2. So the pols ended indexing, replaced by the state credit card, long-term debt, more potholes and finally project delays and cancellations when the money basically ran out.

3. This little fourteen-year old history lesson which Team Walker continues to avoid:

I was re-reading an April 17, 2004 column I'd written about transportation issues for The Capital Times - - and from which I've copied below some paragraphs (there's no live link anymore) - - at a time when the gas tax was set to rise automatically six-tenths of a cent per gallon - - to demonstrate the depth of the inertia that paralyzes the State Capitol and translates to bad roads, incompetent planning, unfocused spending and failed policy:
...a multibillion-dollar freeway expansion plan is under study for southeast Wisconsin by WisDOT, and gas taxes will have to skyrocket to pay for it.


Hotly debated in Milwaukee and its surrounding counties, the plan has not 

received much publicity out-state even though motorists across Wisconsin will dig deeply to pay for it.


The plan calls for an estimated $6.25 billion to be poured into new [or resurfaced] lanes in the next 20 to 30 years. That's a very big figure -- big enough to build 16 Miller Park stadiums at $400 million each, for instance.

    The plan will do two things: Rebuild the complex Marquette Interchange in downtown Milwaukee and add about 120 miles of new freeway lanes next to existing lanes on major roads, like I-94 and I-43 in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, Waukesha, Walworth, Washington and Ozaukee counties. Among the expenses: acquiring more than 600 acres, tearing down 201 homes and 28 businesses, and compensating the owners.

    The plan was approved by an unelected body, the seven-county Southeastern Regional Planning Commission, and is now under review by WisDOT.


 About $750 million of the total cost -- or about 12 percent -- has been set aside for the reconstruction of the Marquette Interchange, from 2004 to 2008. That leaves about $5.5 billion not funded, or roughly $200 million annually for about 25 years to complete the rest of the plan. And like all big-ticket estimates, the bottom line is going to rise...


    The nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance has said the freeway expansion plan is among the reasons why Wisconsin's overall highway building plan  through 2020 is more than $5 billion underfunded. But so far, few at the state level have taken the WTA's finding to heart. And don't expect those automatic April 1 increases to pay for the freeway expansion plan. Those annual increases cover ongoing and inflationary costs, not a multibillion-dollar freeway expansion..

   A penny added to the already-steep gas tax raises about $30 million, so if $200 million in fresh highway dollars are needed, the southeast Wisconsin 
freeway expansion will require a fresh six or seven cents -- at least 20 percent to the per-gallon gas tax - - if WisDOT moves the plan forward.

    It is possible these gas tax increases could be minimized by substituting an increase in vehicle registration fees -- but motorists wouldn't like that, either. Channeling a disproportionate share of state and federal transportation funding to freeway expansion could offset some increases in the gas tax. 

But that would threaten other highway projects, trim state aid to mass transit, and cut local road repair budgets throughout the state. That would be really unpopular in Madison or Ashland, Green Bay or Wausau...
Republican legislative leaders -- including many who champion tax freezes and less government spending -- have long supported raising the gas tax. Along with the road builders, Republicans are leading the fight for freeway expansion. 
Obviously, gas taxes did not skyrocket to pay for the SE 'free'way plan - - or to cover any transportation cost - - because legislators ended indexing in 2005, but kept right borrowing for their unchecked transportation spending instead.

Now with legislators cutting that back, too, the results are the predictable: policy inertia, planning paralysis, plus potholes, project cancellations and delays.

Friday, March 16, 2018

After school gun massacre, 0 gun references in Walker's 'response plan'

I thought people were exaggerating when they said the 'plan' Walker announced in the wake of the Florida school shooting massacre didn't mention guns.

Then I read his office's full statement which includes the entire plan, and there is literally no use of the word "gun," or "guns."

Read what he has to say about school safety - - and the statement includes an endorsement from AG Brad Schimel also free of the gun word - - and they might as well be referencing schools made unsafe by spoiled cafeteria food or dangerous playground equipment.

Even for Walker and Schimel, it's a new pandering low, while, no doubt, the NRA - - a major Walker campaign donor whom Walker has more than repaid with rolled-back laws - - is pleased.

Like I said, our Scott is no Florida Gov. Scott.


Kenosha happy with no-risk proximity to Foxconn, Racine

For some time I've been thinking that Kenosha authorities made the right move in September by balking at the local costs and impacts which came with inviting and siting Foxconn and letting Racine jurisdictions the the plunge: 
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian wrote Gov. Scott Walker a letter dated Monday that pulled the city out of the running for a Foxconn manufacturing plant that is expected to employ as many as 13,000 people.
“Throughout this planning process, we have been consistent in our belief that without significant adjustments to specific current state laws impacting local municipalities, we would be unable to support and/or absorb the development of the project,” Antaramian wrote.
Kenosha jurisdictions won't lose control of so much land and water and landscape as will Racine County just next door
but, like Milwaukee and Northern Illinois, could reap plenty of location-location-location benefits without catching Walker's Foxconn Fever

Today I saw this story, and an observation to a recent meeting about Foxconn by Mayor Antaramian that hot the nail on the head:

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian told the group of about 150 people he is “thrilled to have Foxconn in Racine.” 
“I think it works very well for us,” Antaramian said. “It’s 11 miles to the north, and I don’t have the risk that everyone else has to take.”
Time will tell, but I can see Kenosha gaining without having to give up anything.

Like the Village of Mount Pleasant, population 26,000, on the hook for $764 million. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Regional planners have catalogued resources in 'WisConn' territory

People and policy-makers following Foxconn's permit-free permission and plans to bulldoze wetlands, woodlands, lake beds, stream corridors, wildlife habitat, productive farmland

and open space - - full Foxconn archive, here - - on a 3,000-acre Racine County site assisted by $4.5 billion in state and local subsidies - - but without so much as a basic environmental inventory and review - - might want read through the regional planning commission's extensive "Comprehensive Plan" for Racine County to see what that missing environmental inventory and review failed to document.

Sections III 6-14, focusing on wetlands, environmentally significant lands, open space, water resources and other portions are very relevant, given that the Wisconsin DNR is likely to greenlight a diversion of Lake Michigan water to help upend Racine County as we know it.

I had earlier noted the commission's work on flooding in Racine County.

It's a long report, and no doubt there's something there for everyone, but few lines in section III, page12, speaks the volumes which Walker and his dor-driven wetland-fillers would have us overlook:
Because of the many interacting relationships existing between living organisms and their environment, the destruction or deterioration of one important element of the total environment may lead to a chain reaction of deterioration and destruction of other elements. The drainage of wetlands, for example, may destroy fish spawning areas, wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge areas, and natural filtration and floodwater storage areas of interconnecting stream systems. 
The resulting deterioration of surface-water quality may, in turn, lead to a deterioration of the quality of the groundwater which serves as a source of domestic, municipal, and industrial water supply, and upon which low flows of rivers and streams may depend. Similarly, destruction of ground cover may result in soil erosion, stream siltation, more rapid runoff, and increased flooding, as well as the destruction of wildlife habitat. 
Although the effect of any one of these environmental changes may not in and of itself be overwhelming, the combined effects may eventually lead to a serious deterioration of the underlying and sustaining natural resource base and of the overall quality of the environment for life. 
In addition to such environmental impacts, the intrusion of intensive urban land uses into such areas may result in the creation of serious and costly developmental problems, such as failing foundations for pavements and structures, wet basements, excessive operation of sump pumps, excessive clear-water infiltration into sanitary sewerage systems, and poor drainage.
That common sense statement of fact echos another statement of common sense fact announced by the Wisconsin Supreme Court when it upheld the state constitution's 'water belongs to everyone' 9th amendment - - a passage which I've posted many times and have left permanently up on the face page of my blog:
"A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its 1960 opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC and buttressing The Public Trust Doctrine.