“Yesterday’s Wisconsin State Journal investigative story by Ron Seely uncovered chronic and blatant disregard for the laws that protect Wisconsin’s air and water on the part of Governor Walker’s Department of Natural Resources. A look at the number of enforcement actions combined with reports from current and former DNR staff show a shocking drop-off in action taken against illegal polluters and unprecedented pressure on law enforcement to let violators off the hook.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said, ‘Don’t judge us by our words, judge us by our actions.’ When the DNR’s enforcement against illegal polluters drops from an average of 516 notices in a typical year to 233, your actions say you are allowing illegal polluters to get away with destroying our health and environment.
It appears that Gov. Walker’s attempts to gut public health and environmental protections – from his attempt to eliminate Wisconsin’s first in the nation recycling program to his attempted rollback of decades old mining laws – weren’t enough. He also has a backup plan: if you can’t get rid of the law, just ignore it.
For years, conservationists of all political stripes have been calling for a return to an independently-appointed DNR Secretary to take politics out of DNR. Governor Walker has taken this problem to new heights.
We can’t afford to allow polluters to run roughshod over the health and future of our families. This is yet another reason we need to send Scott Walker packing.”