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Wisconsin Assembly starts debate on wetlands bill

Wisconsin Assembly starts debate on wetlands bill

By The Associated Press. CREATED Feb 21, 2012

MADISON- Debate on a bill that would help developers win wetland construction permits has begun in the state Assembly.

The Republican bill would allow developers to submit mitigation outlines with their permit applications.

The plans would detail how developers would offset damage they might cause by working to restore or enhance other wetlands, giving builders another way to convince the Department of Natural Resources they deserve a permit.

The GOP says the bill would help businesses expand. Environmentalists counter it would encourage the DNR to loosen its stance that applicants focus on avoiding or minimizing wetland damage.

The Senate passed the bill last week. Debate in the Assembly began about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.  It was unclear when the body might vote.