June 16, 2013 Coloma, WI – On the eve of an historic vote by the Wisconsin assembly on a budget that includes a controversial provision stripping citizens of their right to challenge the DNR’s permitting of high capacity wells when cumulative impacts are not considered, Friends of the Central Sands (FOCS) releases a short film highlighting why this issue is so important. Not Standing Still: The Degradation of Wisconsin’s Waters clearly shows the loss of water to Wisconsin’s lakes and streams.
Recently the Little Plover River in Portage County was named number 4 on the 2013 list of the 10 most endangered rivers in the United States by American Rivers. Other bodies of water such as Pickerel Lake and Lake Huron are drying up as depicted in the film.
Over the past few weeks thousands of citizens and dozens of environmental organizations have expressed concerns of the Joint Finance Committee approved measure (Motion #375) which is specifically aimed at the public’s rights to protect the environment from high-capacity well pumping. The motion states:
Move to specify that a person may not challenge an application for, or a permit for, a high capacity well based on the lack of consideration of the cumulative environmental impacts of the proposed high capacity well together with existing wells when approving the high capacity well permit. This provision would apply to applications for high capacity well permits and high capacity well permits in effect before, on, or after, the effective date of the bill, and for applications and permits for which final administrative or judicial review has not been completed on the effective date of the bill.
“It is our goal to not just talk about but to show the impacts that the loss of water is having on our lakes and streams,” said Bob Clarke of Friends of the Central Sands. “Clearly there is a problem that needs to be addressed and can no longer be ignored.”
Friends of the Central Sands (FOCS) works to promote a healthy Central Sands landscape through natural resource stewardship, community involvement, scientific knowledge and advocacy.