Wisconsin’s relaxed environmental rules lead to calls for transparency

Read the full story in the Wisconsin State Journal.

On March 13, nearly two years after first ordering the Wisconsin Air National Guard to clean up hazardous chemicals at the Madison airport, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a new set of deadlines.

Less than a month later, with a statewide health emergency hindering virtually all activity, the DNR granted the guard yet another extension to address the pollution working its way into Starkweather Creek, Lake Monona and the groundwater that feeds Madison’s public wells.

In Marinette, Tyco Fire Products last month stopped testing hundreds of private wells potentially contaminated with the same fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS.

Those are two examples of how the COVID-19 pandemic response has hindered environmental monitoring and cleanup. But a lack of transparency measures make it impossible to know the full impact of state and federal emergency policies.

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