FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       
February 1, 2018
CONTACT: Rep. Jim Steineke                                                                             
(608) 266-2418

Wetland Reform Receives Committee Vote

MADISON – Earlier this morning, the Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform voted to adopt Rep. Jim Steineke’s nonfederal wetland legislation. Amended to address concerns heard during public testimony, AB 547 would allow for a streamlined permitting processes for certain nonfederal wetlands while also bolstering access for dollars to create more, quality wetlands around the state.

“From the start, our goal was to remove unnecessary hurdles to development while still maintaining and protecting our high-quality, critically important wetlands,” said Rep. Steineke. “I’m confident that these changes will ensure both of those goals are being met.”

While the original bill removed permitting requirements for non-federal wetlands, the substitute amendment scales back the initial proposal by only allowing permit-less process for specific situations regarding area, size, and purpose. These changes will allow for development to continue in many critical instances around the state while still preserving oversight of quality wetlands and waterfowl habitats.

“It’s exciting to know that stakeholders from around the state, from sporting communities to business owners, will have a seat at the table to discuss how to best protect our high-quality wetlands while still providing regulatory relief for development and growth,” continued Rep. Steineke. “I look forward to voting in favor of this bill that keeps our environment safe and our state moving forward.”

Along with changes to permitting requirements, delineation lifespans, and technical language, the substitute amendment creates a wetlands study council that would navigate the complex issue of wetland policy and ultimately provide recommendations on future concerns.

The legislation now awaits a vote on the Assembly floor.