GOP walks back wetland permit exemptions bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans are scaling back a bill that would have allowed developers to build on state wetlands without permits.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke introduced an amendment to the bill that would allow developers to fill state wetlands in urban areas without a permit and only if the activity affects less than an acre and doesn’t affect a rare and high quality wetland.

The new language also would allow filling up to three acres of state wetlands per parcel outside urban areas without permits if the work doesn’t affect a rare or high quality wetland and if the development is related to an agricultural structure.

The changes come after Ducks Unlimited complained the original bill would lead to the destruction of wetland habitat that mallards need.

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