Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Glad to see call for EPA action on WI drinking water

Yesterday, in fit of pique and generally fed up, I wrote this:
The Wisconsin State Constitution's Ninth Article incorporates clean water access as a right - - yes, a right, not a privilege - - yet this pro-business, anti-environmental administration keeps undermining the Doctrine and putting citizen health at risk. 
Here is yet another example of what this Governor, and Legislature, and Attorney General, and Department of Natural Resources are tolerating - - this time exposing one couple's travails with groundwater pollution along the river that bears the state's name - - The Wisconsin River:
How many more investigative reports have to be written before the federal government finally comes into Wisconsin, declares that years of documented foot-dragging will no longer be tolerated, and acts on behalf of American citizens - - our fellow Wisconsinites - - who are unlucky enough to live where their water rights are being ignored or given away, in plain sight?
...rising water pollution in the sloughs and oxbow lakes along the Wisconsin River can be blamed primarily on changing farming practices and the use of nonorganic liquid fertilizers, which are man-made chemical compounds. Some farmland is used as dumping ground for excess fertilizer.
And this evening, back in Milwaukee after an afternoon and evening out-of-town, I saw this - - and, swear to God, I had no idea this was in the works - - so great, calming minds work alike on behalf of clean water in Wisconsin:
Environmental groups asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to assume a stronger role in northeastern Wisconsin to protect the public from contaminated drinking wells that environmentalists say have been polluted by heavy manure spreading. 
The groups said in a letter they aren't satisfied with the response by the state Department of Natural Resources to address well contamination using its authority to regulate groundwater.


Anonymous said...

The DNR response was to stall for a year.

Anonymous said...

Time to start working on the complaint against Waukesha and the ignorance of the state for failing to enforce federal and state clean drinking water standards for decades.

Anonymous said...

Do we need to do a letter writing campaign to the EPA, to get them to act? A couple of thousand letters to the regional Director might get the lead out!

James Rowen said...

The EPA called the DNR out in 2011 on 75 disregarded water issues.

James Rowen said...

The state documented nitrate contamination in residential wells as a growing problem in 2007.

James Rowen said...

Here is the contact information for the EPA, Dist. 5, Chicago:
Contact EPA Region 5

Robert Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 5

US EPA Region 5
Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building
77 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-3590

Anonymous said...

Remember, the divisive and even abusive agenda that Scott Walker promotes was created years ago. The recall certainly was successful in that it prevented him from dropping any more "bombs" on unsuspecting citizens that year, delaying some of his divide-and-conquer".

His presidential run, gratefully entirely failed and in only 70 days, was based-on the notion of him picking fights with the Feds as a teabaggin' rock star. So putting feces and urine in your water would have been an ideal tactic -- not only would this repay some of the out-of-state business interests that have paid him off, but it would have allowed him to grandstand on a national stage against "over regulation" and "those bureaucrats in Washington".

This is the tact he will take if/when EPA gets involved, however, given the massive failure and criminality in Flint, Michigan, perhaps even Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the usual media Walker sycophants may have a hard time selling this one.

But don't underestimate the power of propaganda. Scott Walker is a media creation even more-so than a koch whore.

Anonymous said...

While this is certainly good news, I wouldn't get too excited until we see action and change over it. After all, the EPA could have stepped in years ago. The Clean Water Act certainly gives the Feds authority to step in and the penalties that this law demands should have been enough of an economic incentive to stop the benefactors of Walker's economic and now environmental terrorism from going forward.

It didn't and even if we assume Scott Walker picked this fight to position himself as a "Washington Outsider" that was going to "take-on" big government (LOL! He supports HUGE government and the resulting deficits & ballooning interest payments), the EPA has given this all free pass.

There is no question that contaminating water with feces and urine jeopardize public health and are exactly the things the Clean Water Act was created to prevent.

And what has the EPA done to date?

[crickets chirping]

Maybe this is a good sign, but by waiting until 2016 to even acknowledge potential problems, the EPA has prevented any meaningful action from happening this year -- after all -- it is a Presidential Cycle now, the current administration will be over "out" in about 10 months, and we will only see the EPA enforce the Clean Water Act if the NEXT administration chooses to see it happen.

Will Hillary take money from many the same interests that Scott Walker takes money from (HINT: yes)

Unless Bernie Sanders is elected POTUS, don't expect a "knight in shiny armour" from the EPA to do anything at all.