Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial rejects Scrima’s “Common Sense”

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board weighs in on the Waukesha water debate in an editorial Thursday.

That application is on hold at the moment for several reasons, most of them involving details on which the DNR wants more information. The city should work out those details to the state’s satisfaction. But in putting the application on hold, the DNR also cited Scrima’s objections to the application.

The application is based on more than a decade of study. The process of putting together the application was as open as any other such process; informational meetings were held for the public, the issue was discussed and decided in meetings that were open to the public.

Scrima’s objections are based on a hunch – he calls it common sense – and a shadowy conspiracy theory that questions the motives of those who have conducted past studies and who would make decisions about the future. He also has failed to back up his doubts with a single formal resolution asking for reconsideration or for a new study.

We don’t buy it. When the studies were launched, all options were on the table; those options were considered and narrowed to the one that seems to offer the best solution: Lake Michigan water. Scrima talks about other options, but those were already considered and rejected because they were believed to be more expensive or not sustainable in the long term. They also would require other Waukesha neighbors to accommodate the city. Whatever the answer, Waukesha will not be able to do this without help.

If in studying the matter, the DNR determines that Lake Michigan water isn’t the best answer for Waukesha, it should reject the application. But it should do so because of sound science, not the “common sense” of Jeff Scrima.

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