Committees set hearing on GOP bill to end wetland permits

File photo (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Two legislative committees have scheduled a joint hearing on a Republican bill that would allow developers to build on state wetlands without a permit.

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform have scheduled the hearing for Dec. 21 in the state Capitol.

The bill, authored by Sen. Roger Roth and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, would eliminate the Department of Natural Resources wetland development permit system. Builders would still have to create 1.2 acres of wetlands for every acre filled, however.

Estimates of how many of Wisconsin's 5 million or so wetland acres fall under state jurisdiction vary from 10 percent to 30 percent. The rest are under federal jurisdiction because they're generally part of navigable waters such as Lake Superior.

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