Friday, February 5, 2016

Feds should ensure clean drinking water in Dairyland WI

Kewaunee County farmer and clean water advocate Nancy Utesch has written a powerful op-ed about the persistent and hazardous contamination of well water in that heavily-agricultural NE Wisconsin County. It's definitely worth a read, here.
Thirty-four percent of the tested wells in Kewaunee are contaminated with E. coli, high nitrates, or both. In 2014, a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher equated well water samples he had tested in the town of Lincoln to what one would expect to find in a Third World country.
She and others through the grassroots organization Kewaunee Cares - - mentioned more than once on this blog - - have been fighting this battle with people in the Central Sands area and groups statewide for the basic right to clean water - - for years.

Regrettably, it may take the drinking water catastrophe in Flint, MI to fully alert the state and nation to serious but fixable water pollution in Wisconsin, too

And that the problem has been known and documented for years  - - along with a troubling bigger picture - - with government and industry dragging their feet, as Utesch notes.

Wisconsin is proud of being the Dairy State, but that should not mean that people who live near these industrial-scale operations that the Walker administration is allowing to expand in their era of de-regulation - - with a massive pig farm on the way close to Lake Superior, too - - should have to pay such a high, public health and safety penalty.

And bear the legal costs for remedies which the state, for political reasons, has obstructed.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has already written Wisconsin up for dozens of dismissals of responsibility under the Clean Water Act: federal intervention is long overdue on beheld of Wisconsin residents who leave near large-scale agricultural operations and the chemical and manure byproducts they have left behind.


Anonymous said...

I want to see Scott Walker, Voss, Fitzgerald, and their repug cohorts all life a warm stinkin' glass of manure tainted water and all do round after round of toasts to the Koch bros.

Anonymous said...

This is such a serious catastrophe that Walker and his Republican legislators chose to ignore. When one third of a counties wells are contaminated because of state agency actions and inactions this should be news nationwide just like the Flint disaster. Both are the result of Republican governors being in office. We also have the Lincoln Hills mess that gets ignored. both of these should be front page news on all the media sites not jus these blogs. At the very least a federal investigation is called for and one od the major networks should do a "60 Minutes type of expose! This governor for five years has stalemated reporting and investigations of his numerous wrong doings that have harmed the people of Wisconsin

Anonymous said...

The story by Nancy Utesch is heart breaking. How the governor and his Republican legislators can turn their backs on these people and promise them solutions and not deliver needs to be told far and wide. People living in Wisconsin who do not have access to safe and clean water is simply not acceptable. It is long past time if Walker is choosing to leave these people hung out to dry to organize a protest at the Capitol and at the doors of Walker's office to drive home the point to all in Wisconsin that this governor refuses to face the very problems that he has created with his "open for business" policies that lead to profits for the few and devastation for the many.

Anonymous said...

The governor is turning his back on these people because they let him. What does Kewaunee Cares actually do other than blog? Have they had rallies? Run candidates who care? Take the example of the Chicago Teachers Union and parent supporters. Chicagoans are in the streets protesting, closing down the loop. They are not waiting for the politicians to do something. I sympathize with the people who can't drink their water but if you want something done, you have to rise up. Organize with other rural residents from around the state who have the same problems. One third of tested wells in the county may be contaminated but 99 percent of Wisconsinites don't know about it.