FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 7, 2019
Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831
Tusler Wetlands Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk
Legislation Promotes Wetlands Creation, Siting Near Affected Areas
Madison, WI – Today, the State Assembly voted to approve Senate Bill 169, authored by Representative Ron Tusler (R – Harrison) and Senator Van Wanggaard (R – Racine), which will incentivize the creation of wetlands in needed areas, as well as, require mitigation occur as close to an allowable disruption as possible.
“Wetlands are desperately needed in urban areas to aid with storm water runoff and lessen flooding during extreme precipitation events,” said Representative Tusler. “This bill encourages the creation of wetlands in developed and developing areas by making these projects more financially viable.”
In populated, developed and developing areas, the cost to create wetlands can be high, discouraging developers from investing in new wetland projects. This bill incentivizes investment in new wetland projects by tying the release of wetland credits to benchmarks during the course of a wetland development project.
Representative Tusler went on to say, “This bill also requires that mitigation credits be purchased as close to an allowable disruption as possible and not on the other side of the state.”
Ensuring that mitigation occurs close to the source of the impacted wetland will help to better filter groundwater, provide critical habitat for waterfowl and other species throughout the state, and lessen flooding. According to a study by Purdue University, “[a] one acre wetland, one foot deep, can hold approximately 330,000 gallons of water. When wetlands are removed, storm water runs directly into the watershed, increasing flooding.”
“I am thrilled that my legislative colleagues came together to get this bill passed this session. I strongly encourage the Governor to sign this environmentally friendly bill into law,” Rep. Tusler said.
The bill received bipartisan support and now awaits Governor Evers’ signature before it becomes law.