Senate committee to vote on wetland permit exemptions

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A legislative committee is preparing to approve a Republican bill that would allow builders to fill state wetlands without a permit.

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy is set to vote on the measure Thursday afternoon. Approval would clear the way for a full Senate floor vote.

Under the bill, developers could fill up to an acre of urban wetlands without a permit if the activity doesn't disturb a high-quality wetland. The bill defines urban wetlands as wetlands that lie within a half-mile of an incorporated area or an area with a sewer system.

Builders also would be allowed to fill up to three acres per parcel of wetlands outside urban areas as long as the activity doesn't disturb a high-quality wetland.

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