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A resolution addressing environmental harm is causing controversy

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- The environmental justice resolution was first introduced in Wausau in February.

The EPA describes the issue as fair treatment and involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, with the respect to the development and enforcement of environmental laws and regulation.

The Alderman behind it here in Wausau says the goal is to address environmental concerns, particularly on the southwest and east sides of Wausau.

"There's been a severe and disproportionate impact of industrial contamination on diverse and working class areas," Alderman of District 3 Tom Kilian said.

One of the neighborhoods is near Riverside Park.

It has been an area of concern for years, as studies have shown higher than normal dioxin levels, which can be a harmful chemical.

City leaders say they're optimistic for the future of the resolution, and have a lot of support from costituents.

"The sentiment is overwhelmingly in support of starting to protect people from serious pollution and polluters," Kilian said.

However, not everyone is in favor.

The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce sent an email to their members opposing the resolution.

They said that the city has provided no evidence of citizens being affected by environmental pollution.

The Chamber goes on to say that, "using nebulous concepts of environmental justice as an excuse to change the zoning code to punish businesses or restrict industrial development is totally inappropriate and will economically harm the City of Wausau."

After that release, News 9 tried to reach out to the Chamber for comment several times.

They did not respond.

To full resolution can be found here.

Sadie Fisher

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