Webinar: Citizen Voices Matter for Environmental Protection
Jan 18, 2014
This year, Grassroots North Shore in Milwaukee began sponsoring a series of weekly webinars to help Wisconsinites get background information on some of today’s most important public interest issues facing our state. On January 16, 2014, the Information for Activation webinar focused on the basics on citizen concerns with environmental protection in Wisconsin and MEA’s executive director, Kim Wright, shared some of the stories of the people who are holding their government accountable for the decrease in environmental law enforcement.
In this talk, Wright highlights some of the most striking controversies around pollution and public health threats that have been in the headlines in recent years. Herr Environmental spreading sewage on land without being held accountable for polluting nearly 50 families’ drinking wells, the Kipp Corporation pressuring the Department of Natural Resources to ignore air and groundwater pollution problems, and the threats to Wisconsin’s innovative leadership on numeric criteria in regulating phosphorus pollution are examples of how the influence of special interests over the power of the DNR to enforce environmental laws threatens our health. Fundamentally, environmental laws are public health standards.
But in today’s news, water contamination from concentrated animal feeding operations’ land-applied manure spreading, stormwater and air quality problems around frac sand mining, and a proposed open-pit iron mine in Wisconsin’s Penokee Hills dominate citizens’ worries that declining environmental law enforcement leaves our health and property vulnerable. But citizens have been the only group that have consistently protected the interests of future generations. And in Wisconsin, clean air, land and water transcend partisanship and aren’t for sale to special interests.