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Erosion control standards passed by committee

The state’s Department of Natural Resources would issue statewide standards for erosion control at construction projects that disturb more than acre of land under a motion passed by the state’s Joint Finance Committee on Thursday.

State Rep. Daniel LeMahieu, R-Cascade, said construction companies now must deal with a patchwork of local ordinances concerning erosion control in Wisconsin. He said his proposal would ensure contractors receive “equal treatment around the state.”

Another member of the committee, Cory Mason, D-Racine, wondered why state lawmakers would want to take away the ability of local governments to adopt rules suited to unique circumstances. He also complained the proposal was among a long list of policy items that were being inserted into the state budget bill Thursday with lawmakers having little time to think about them.

The 12 Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the proposal and the four Democrats voted against.

The motion would also take the responsibility for establishing erosion-control standards away from the Department of Safety and Professional Services and transfer it to the DNR. It would do the same for construction sites that disturb less than an acre and do not involve one- or two-family dwellings, public buildings and places of employment.

For the motion to become law, it still must be passed by the Assembly and Senate and signed by the governor.

— Dan Shaw

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