Panel approves wetlands permit exemption bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Panel approves wetlands permit exemption bill

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A contentious Republican bill that would allow developers to fill wetlands without Department of Natural Resources permits is a step closer to passing the state Assembly.

The Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform voted 6-3 to approve the bill Thursday. The vote clears the path for a full vote in the chamber.

The bill would let developers fill up to an acre of urban wetlands without a DNR permit as long as the activity doesn't affect a rare and high-quality wetland. They could fill up to 3 acres per parcel of wetlands outside urban areas without a permit if again the activity doesn't disturb a rare and high-quality wetland and the project is related to agriculture.

Conservationists say the measure would lead to the destruction of countless wetland acres, resulting in more flooding and the loss of wildlife habit.

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