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New wetlands construction law doesn't change much because of federal controls

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The Wisconsin state Capitol Building in Madison is seen in this undated photo.
The Wisconsin state Capitol Building in Madison is seen in this undated photo.

UNDATED, WI (WTAQ) - The Army Corps of Engineers says federal construction requirements will not change because of Wisconsin’s newly-relaxed limits for building on wetlands. This aspect has been mentioned a couple times – but it has not been highlighted in the debate over the new state law. The Army Corps regulates about three-fourths of Wisconsin’s wetlands along with the state DNR. In a statement Friday, the Corps said the new law changes nothing in federal actions – and developers could still need permits from the Army Corps in order to build on wetlands. Governor Scott Walker signed the new law this week after a contentious debate in the Legislature. It requires builders of specialized projects to enter into mitigation agreements in which they’d either have to create new wetlands to replace what they build on – or simply pay for wetland development and the DNR’s effort to encourage it. Supporters said the measure will boost the economy and provide jobs. Opponents fear it cause a large reduction in Wisconsin’s wetlands – which provide flood control and habitat for wildlife.

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